This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


It is now May, and still only one economically significant (costing $100 million or more per year) regulation has been issued this year. With the 2018 Federal Register poised to break the 20,000-page mark as soon as Monday, new finalized rules from the last week range from naming crabmeat to air taxis.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 63 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 65 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 40 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,091 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,136 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,281 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,177 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,222 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 19,900 pages. It is on pace for 58,184 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts 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. One such rule has been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is $115 million.
  • Agencies have published 37 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 171 new rules affect small businesses; 9 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

  • The legal name for a kind of crabmeat.
  • The Federal Communications Commission wants to make it easier for communities to build 5G networks.
  • New regulations for donated food.
  • A compliance guide for small businesses working with the Defense Department and the General Services Administration. “It consists of a summary of the rules appearing in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-98, which amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). An asterisk (*) next to a rule indicates that a regulatory flexibility analysis has been prepared.”
  • Regulations for air taxis.
  • Serving sizes for breath mints and other foods.

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.