This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


The number of new final regulations for the year passed the 2,000 mark, with new rules ranging from cell walls to harpoon fishing.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 56 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 60 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,015 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,244 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,622 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,844 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 39,801 pages. It is on pace for 64,196 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 70 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 336 new rules affect small businesses; 16 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

  • Some technical language in federal housing regulations is being repealed.
  • Some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s beryllium compliance dates are being extended until December.
  • Cell wall tolerance levels in food.
  • Tuna fishing—with harpoons.
  • If you export or import hazardous waste, you have to file paperwork with the Environmental Protection Agency. They have changed the address to which that paperwork must be sent.
  • The Federal Communications Commission continues to tweak its oft-ignored Emergency Alert System.

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