This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


It was a slow news week on the policy front, though quite busy on the drama/soap opera front. The House was in recess, and while the Senate was in session, its business consisted mostly of lower court judicial nominations. The 2018 Federal Register passed the 40,000-page mark as agencies passed new regulations ranging from the pewter industry to pilot seats.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 64 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 56 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 38 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,079 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,249 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 2,136 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,622 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 41,937 pages. It is on pace for 65,527 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. Four such rules have been published this year, one in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $14.9 million to $120.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 73 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2018, 351 new rules affect small businesses; 18 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.