This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The United States officially ended its military occupation of Afghanistan. Hurricane Ida killed at least 40 people in the Northeastern U.S., while in the New Orleans area it caused six deaths and massive flooding and knocked out power to more than a million people. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from regional haze to dairy donations.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 72 final regulations last week, after 52 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
  • With 2,190 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,241 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 39 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 52 the previous week.
  • With 1,437 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,127 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,021 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 467 notices last week, after 495 notices the previous week.
  • With 14,849 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 21,966 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,604 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,342 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 295 pages.
  • With 49,902 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 78,399 pages in 2021. The 2020 total was 87,352 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (subtracting 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. There are nine such rules so far in 2021, none from the last week. Agencies published five economically significant rules in 2020, and four in 2019.
  • The running cost tally for 2021’s economically significant rules ranges from$1.42 billion to $4.81 billion. The 2020 figure ranges from net savings of between $2.04 billion and $5.69 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The exact numbers depend on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published 291 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with seven in the last week. This is on pace for 430 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 592 new rules affect small businesses. 78 are classified as significant. 2020’s totals were 668 rules affecting small businesses, 26 of them significant.

Highlights from last week’s new regulations:

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