This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


The big news from last week was the release of the spring edition of the twice-yearly Unified Agenda, which lists all planned agency regulations currently in the pipeline. Wayne Crews offers his take here and here. The 2018 Federal Register also zoomed past the 20,000-page mark, adding more than 10 percent to its total page count last week. New rules range from menu labeling to sea turtle observers.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 78 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 63 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 9 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,169 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,177 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,281 regulations.
  • Last week, 2,270 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,177 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 22,170 pages. It is on pace for 60,245 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. Two such rules have been published this year, one in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations is $215 million.
  • Agencies have published 40 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 186 new rules affect small businesses; 10 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

For more data, see the study “10,000 Commandments” and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.