This Week in Ridiculous Regulations 


The Game of Thrones finale aired last night, though the show’s less-plausible Washington spinoff appears set to continue indefinitely, and with a rather larger budget. In related trivia, dragons appear in twenty-five Federal Register documents so far this year, or more than one per week. The number of new regulations this year will also likely top one thousand next week. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies issued new regulations ranging from nursery industry guides to package delivery signatures.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 55 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 58 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and three minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 980 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,553 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 494 notices, for a total of 8,112 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,125 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 22,205.
  • Last week, 1,925 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,081 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 22,692 pages. It is on pace for 59,094 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 28 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 177 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:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.