This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


The economy grew by 4.1 percent last quarter, which is wonderful news. The president also announced $12 billion of subsides for farmers hurt by his trade policies and met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, achieving a handshake truce in the brewing U.S.-European Union trade conflict. Congress geared up for its annual August recess, though the Senate will remain in session for most of the month. Meanwhile, regulatory agencies passed new regulations ranging from dumpster fire emissions to caller ID.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 55 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 62 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and three minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 1,899 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,274 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,643 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,993 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 36,335 pages. It is on pace for 62,647 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. Three such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is $319.1 million.
  • Agencies have published 66 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 318 new rules affect small businesses; 16 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.