This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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After another busy week for agencies, the 2020 Federal Register is on pace to be 79,121 pages. None of those pages include the Spring 2020 Unified Agenda, which was supposed to have been published in April. Even so, this year’s Federal Register would be more than a 10 percent increase over last year. It would also be the Trump administration’s longest Federal Register by more than 8,000 pages and would exceed three of the Obama administration’s eight yearly totals. Regulatory agencies issued new regulations ranging from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to beryllium work areas.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 71 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 93 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 22 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,732 final regulations in 2020. At that pace, there will be 3,138 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 2,964 regulations.
  • There were also 41 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, for a total of 1,197 on the year. At that pace, there will be 2,168 new proposed regulations in 2020. Last year’s total was 2,191 proposed regulations.
  • Last week, agencies published 472 notices, for a total of 12,195 in 2020. At that pace, there will be 22,036 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,804.
  • Last week, 1,773 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,815 pages the previous week.
  • The 2020 Federal Register totals 43,679 pages. It is on pace for 79,129 pages. The 2019 total was 70,938 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 35 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2019’s total was 66 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2020, 331 new rules affect small businesses; 12 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 regulations:

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