This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


Despite a four-day workweek, federal agencies still exceeded the previous week’s Federal Register page count by nearly a hundred pages, pushing the yearly total past the 25,000 mark. While tariffs and automobile bans dominated the news last week, under-the-radar new regulations also passed, ranging from spinach proteins to newspaper registration.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 58 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 68 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 54 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,357 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,201 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,281 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,144 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,046 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 25,829 pages. It is on pace for 60,918 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 46 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 224 new rules affect small businesses; 11 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.