This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


It was a busy week in the political world, from the bitter Supreme Court controversy to President Trump’s UN speech, to tariffs on $260 billion worth of goods in U.S.-China trade taking effect. Meanwhile, the number of new regulations this year broke the 2,500 mark and the 2018 Federal Register is on the cusp of reaching 50,000 pages. Regulatory agencies issued nearly a hundred new rules ranging from hook-on chairs to skate fishing.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 99 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 69 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every one hour and 42 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,508 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,318 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,062 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,351 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 49,172 pages. It is on pace for 65,043 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 79 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 456 new rules affect small businesses; 21 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.