This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Fireworks_Lake Erie

After a short Labor Day breather, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings and White House intrigue made for a lively four-day week. Meanwhile, agencies issued new regulations ranging from target shooting to fireworks shows over Lake Erie.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 35 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 89 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours and 48 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,268 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,284 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 718 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,310 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 45,233 pages. It is on pace for 63,175 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. Five such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations is a net savings ranging from $348.9 million to $560.9 million.
  • Agencies have published 75 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 393 new rules affect small businesses; 20 of them are classified as significant. 

Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

  • No more target shooting on publicly-owned lands in the Eastern Lake Mountains in Utah County, Utah.
  • The Rural Utilities Service has new procedures for announcing grants.
  • Side-facing seats on 747s.
  • The Homeland Security Department is “increasing the premium processing fee charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS is increasing the fee by 14.92 percent, the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last adjusted in 2010… The adjustment increases the fee from $1,225 to $1,410.” (From August 31) 
  • The 2008 financial crisis was due largely banks buying and selling mortgages they knew wouldn’t be repaid, and customers happy to play along. So, too, are regulators, as recently as Friday.
  • A safety zone in Lake Erie around the Moonlight on the Bay fireworks show in Erie, PA.

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