This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Congress is preparing for its annual August-long vacation, even if Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might scuttle some of those plans. Regulatory agencies have still been plenty busy, with new rules in the last week ranging from Maine’s gas stations to hammerhead shark herd size.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 81 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,677 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,129 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,853 regulations.
  • Last week, 896 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 992 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 32,607 pages. It is on pace for 60,834 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. Nine 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 150 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 318 new rules affected small businesses; 48 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.