This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 booster shots for adults over 65, or with certain medical conditions, or who have job-related COVID exposure. The Pfizer vaccine also has an estimated 90 percent effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID in children aged five to 11, which should encourage regulators to finally approve it. Meanwhile, agencies issued new rules ranging from boat fires to meal pattern revisions.

On to the data:

  • Agencies issued 53 final regulations last week, after 30 the previous week.
  • That is the equivalent of a new regulation every five hours and 36 minutes.
  • With 2,629 final regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 3,254 final regulations this year. 2020’s total was 3,218 final regulations.
  • Agencies issued 36 proposed regulations in the Federal Register last week, after 27 the previous week.
  • With 1,682 proposed regulations so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 2,082 proposed regulations this year. 2020’s total was 2,222 proposed regulations.
  • Agencies published 491 notices last week, after 379 notices the previous week.
  • With 17,988 notices so far in 2021, agencies are on pace to issue 22,262 notices this year. 2020’s total was 22,480.
  • Last week, 1,238 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 859 pages the previous week.
  • The average Federal Register issue this year contains 291 pages.
  • With 58,762 pages so far, the 2021 Federal Register is on pace for 72,725 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 13 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 $2.77 billion to $6.61 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 340 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” in 2021, with five in the last week. This is on pace for 421 significant rules in 2021. 2020’s total was 79 significant final rules.
  • In 2021, 719 new rules affect small businesses; 86 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.