This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

The final pre-inauguration Federal Register was 1,464 pages long. A normal day’s edition is roughly 300 pages. According to The Hill’s Overnight Regulation column, “Miriam Kleiman, a spokesperson for the Federal Register, described it as ‘one of the largest ever’ editions of the government’s rulebook.” Since there is a lag time of a few days for most documents, the midnight rush may well continue into next week. New rules from the last week range from organic poultry to pool pumps.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 72 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 82 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 20 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 206 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,962 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,853 regulations.
  • Last week, 2,860 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,573 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 7,622 pages. It is on pace for 146,577 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set last year. The unadjusted count was 97,110 pages.
  • Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Seven such rules have been published this year, two in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.8 billion to $13.2 billion.
  • Agencies have published 26 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 35 new rules affected small businesses; 4 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

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