This Week in Ridiculous Regulations
The new administration’s regulatory freeze, which is common practice whenever the White House switches parties, is taking effect. New regulations and other documents typically have a several-day lag between submission and publication, which is why rule and page counts didn’t slow down until about mid-week. But for the next few weeks, the Federal Register will likely have fewer pages and regulations than usual. New regulations from the past week range from rockfish to lemons.
On to the data:
- Last week, 47 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 72 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 35 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 256 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,556 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,853 regulations.
- Last week, 1,022 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,860 pages the previous week.
- The 2017 Federal Register totals 8,644 pages. It is on pace for 120,056 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, none 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 30 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:
- A new Export Administration Regulation is, according to the agency that issued it, “purely non-substantive.”
- The definition of hard cider.
- A couple of rockfish species are being removed from the endangered species list.
- A delay in new vehicle emission standards.
- An update to the federal government’s policy on lemons from northwest Argentina.
For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.