This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

As with the previous few weeks, many of this week’s regulations were simply delays of previous rules. Most agencies will remain in a holding pattern for a few more weeks before they can enact new rules. The president also signed a resolution, passed under the Congressional Review Act, nullifying the Department of the Interior’s Stream Protection Rule. Before this year, the 1996 Congressional Review Act was invoked to strike down precisely one regulation, back in 2001. This is out of more than 60,000 final regulations issued during that time. The White House is also expected to issue executive orders this week rolling back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States rules.

Regulations delayed in the last week until late March range from toxins to swaps.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 37 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours and 32 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 405 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,286 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,616 regulations.
  • Last week, 690 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,098 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 11,130 pages. It is on pace for 99,375 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 70 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 79 new rules affected small businesses; 23 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.