This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


It was another short work week due to Thanksgiving, while Black Friday’s ritual tramplings put a damper on that day’s productivity. Last week agencies published more than 2,000 Federal Register pages, pushing this year’s total over 60,000. The number of this year’s new regulations will likely surpass 3,000 next week. New regulations from the last week range from passenger trains to Zodiac seats.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 50 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 40 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 22 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 2,976 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,293 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 2,157 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,619 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 60,332 pages. It is on pace for 66,739 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 98 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 572 new rules affect small businesses; 24 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.