This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


In the news, The new NAFTA was signed (but still needs legislative approval in all three countries), General Motors announced major layoffs and plant closures, and Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch shared a bipartisan laugh at a government attorney’s defense of civil asset forfeiture. Meanwhile, the number of new regulations this year surpassed 3,000, with the newest rules ranging from newsletters to geomagnetic disturbances.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 40 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 50 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every four hours and 12 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 3,035 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,285 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,905 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,157 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 62,240 pages. It is on pace for 67,360 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 100 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 585 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.