This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Starting this week, many late-Obama administration regulations delayed by the Trump administration’s 60-day freeze will come into effect. Agencies will also gain a freer hand to issue more new regulations. There may be a deluge of new rules to even out the slow post-inauguration pace, or it may simply be back to business as usual—which is roughly 15 final regulations and 300 Federal Register pages per workday. Time will tell. New regulations from the final freeze-week range from glucose monitors to water power.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 55 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 39 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 3 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 601 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 2,946 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,616 regulations.
  • Last week, 937 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 875 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 14,314 pages. It is on pace for 70,167 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 93 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 135 new rules affected small businesses; 31 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.