This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The House passed a continuing resolution to avoid a federal shutdown until November 21st. The Senate will likely follow suit this week. The 2019 Federal Register will also almost certainly top 50,000 pages this week. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from gooseberry fruit to meat grades.
On to the data:
- Last week, 46 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 88 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 39 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 2,122 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,899 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 418 notices, for a total of 15,777 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,554 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
- Last week, 1,084 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,431 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 49,633 pages. It is on pace for 67,804 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. Four such rules have been published this year. Six such rules were published in 2018.
- The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.30 billion to $4.44 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The 2018 total ranges from net costs of $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 47 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 360 new rules affect small businesses; 15 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:
- Trade liberalization can be tasty: Fresh Cape gooseberry fruit can now be imported from Ecuador.
- The Environmental Protection Agency issued significant new use rules on certain chemical substances.
- This year’s quota for catching sablefish has been reached.
- Changes to meat grading standards.
- Agriculture disaster assistance, though I believe unrelated to current tariff policy.
- Compensation for domestic violenc victims of military personnel.
- Infant bath seats.
- One-Hour primary sulfur dioxide non-attainment in Michigan and Maryland.
- The Environmental Protection Agency is withdrawing its recent rule for compression ignition internal combustion engines.
For more data, see “Ten Thousand Commandments” and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.