This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


In the news last week, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) got a new name (USMCA) that nobody will use, and President Trump sent everyone a text message. Meanwhile, the 2018 Federal Register topped 50,000 pages and agencies issued new regulations, from farm payments to a safety zone in Cape Fear.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 76 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 99 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 13 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,584 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,330 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,208 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,062 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 50,380 pages. It is on pace for 64,923 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 84 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 474 new rules affect small businesses; 22 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.