This Week in Ridiculous Regulations   


Washington, D.C.’s flash flood was followed up by a heat wave; this week could bring even worse during Congress’ final week in session before the August recess. As the Federal Register surpasses 35,000 pages on the year, rulemaking agencies were still able to publish new regulations ranging from jet routes to worsted wool.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 53 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 49 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 3 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,540 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,770 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 421 notices, for a total of 12,000 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,583 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
  • Last week, 1,310 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,432 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 34,788 pages. It is on pace for 62,569 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. Two such rules have 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 $205.1 million to $294.8 million. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 38 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, 265 new rules affect small businesses; 14 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.