This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
While Washington’s “This Town” types geared up for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the rest of the country flocked to movie theaters for a much more realistic and wholesome form of entertainment—“Avengers: Endgame.” Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations from Mushroom Council membership to hydroelectric licenses.
On to the data:
- Last week, 45 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 66 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 44 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 814 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,513 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 411 notices, for a total of 6,656 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 20,543 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
- Last week, 1,330 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,516 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 17,929 pages. It is on pace for 55,337 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set in 2016.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule has been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from $139.1 million to $175.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 26 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 150 new rules affect small businesses; 11 of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:
- Restrictions on discontinued uses of asbestos.
- A Federal Communications Commission rule for mobile radio wireless spectrum above 24 GHz.
- Hydroelectric licensing regulations.
- Handling spearmint oil.
- The federal government has a Mushroom Council (really). It has new membership requirements.
- Federal standards for drug testing in the transportation industry.
- A potentially ominous rule, given current political conditions, for the State Department to refuse visas.
- Fishing limits per the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
- Updated job description for U.S. Attorneys.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.