This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


Agencies took it comparatively easy in the leadup to the long Memorial Day weekend, though the Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard were busy with rules for travelers and revelers, mostly in the form of airworthiness requirements and safety zones near fireworks shows and other events. Other new regulations hitting the books ranged from trans fats to wireless microphones.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 68 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,299 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,184 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,281 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,046 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,169 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 24,385 pages. It is on pace for 59,768 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, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations is $215 million.
  • Agencies have published 45 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 217 new rules affect small businesses; 11 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

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