On November 17, the 2016 Federal Register set an all-time record page count—an impressive feat for a document that has been published continuously since 1936. The November 18 edition extended the record by 1,465 pages, and the next six weeks or so will only set the bar higher. Along the way, agencies passed rules ranging from compressors to radio spectrum.
On to the data:
- Last week, 59 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 47 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 51 minutes.
- With 3,304 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 3,721 regulations in 2016. Last year’s total was 3,406 regulations.
- Last week, 3,724 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,357 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 83,104 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 93,586 pages. This would well exceed the 2010 Federal Register’s previous all-time record adjusted page count of 81,405.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. 29 such rules have been published so far in 2016, none in the last week.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $23.5 billion to $36.2 billion.
- 264 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
- So far in 2016, 560 new rules affect small businesses; 98 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- The Energy Department has decided compressors will be covered under its recent energy efficiency regulations.
- A type of opiate is temporarily being classified as Schedule I controlled substances, the DEA’s most severe category.
- A whole bunch of changes to Medicare. The formal title of the rule is “Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation Requirements; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; Payment to Nonexcepted Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital; Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program; Establishment of Payment Rates Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Nonexcepted Items and Services Furnished by an Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital.”
- The FCC is clearing out some radio spectrum to eventually pave the way for 5G mobile technology.
- Teacher preparation issues.