This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
Thursday’s Federal Register was not published online until late in the evening due to a technical error. Friday’s edition did not appear until the afternoon. Both editions are more than 1,000 pages each; an average day is under 300 pages. The 2020 Federal Register passed 25,000 pages, and is poised to surpass last year’s page count by more than 1,000 pages. The number of final regulations in 2020 also passed the 1,000 barrier. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies issued new final regulations ranging from fuel economy to seasonal workers.
On to the data:
- Last week, 48 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 30 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 1,036 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,048 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,150 regulations.
- There were also 49 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 733 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,156 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,184 proposed regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 425 notices, for a total of 7,414 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 21,806 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
- Last week, 3,112 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,464 pages the previous week.
- The 2020 Federal Register totals 26,318 pages. It is on pace for 77,405 pages. The 2019 total was 76,288 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. Three such rules have been published this year. Four such rules were published in 2019.
- The running cost tally for 2020’s economically significant regulations ranges from net savings of between $1.38 billion and $4.19 billion. 2019’s total ranges from net savings of $350 million to $650 million, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact number depends on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 24 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
- So far in 2020, 202 new rules affect small businesses; nine of them are classified as significant. 2019’s totals were 501 rules affecting small businesses, with 22 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:
- The biggest rule of the week is a 1,105-page fuel economy rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Its estimated annual costs range from $500 million to a net benefit of $1.2 billion.
- The deadline for states to require REAL ID Act-compliant driver’s licenses has been extended until October 1, 2021. CEI has previously argued that this #NeverNeeded regulation should be repealed, not merely delayed.
- The Transportation Security Adminitration is delaying deadlines for security training for surface transportation employees.
- Provisions for seasonal workers under the Paycheck Protection Act.
- COVID-related changes to on-site certification requirements from the Food and Drug Administration.
- Changes to immigration law for the Northern Mariana Islands.
- The EPA is loosening requirements in Missouri for emissions from automotive underbody deadeners, which sounds like something out of a horror movie.
- Liquidity for credit unions.
- The Postal Service has new standards for mailing infectious substances.
- Real estate appraisals.
- Fees for foreigners buying real estate.
- Crop insurance.
- Assistance for victims and witnesses of crimes committed by military personnel.
- Don’t export military supplies to China, Russia, or Venezuela.
- Bank reserve requirements.
- Interday credit.
- For the purposes of Federal Reserve Regulation E (which covers electronic fund transfers), pandemic relief payments will not be considered government benefits.
- The Northeast Skate Complex Fishery Management Plan.
- Rules for coronavirus-related small business loans from the National Credit Union Administration.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.