This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


A partial federal shutdown looks more likely than it did a week ago, the federal deficit will likely top $1 trillion next year, and Theresa May survived a confidence vote in the UK over Brexit. The 2018 Federal Register surpassed last year’s page count with two weeks to spare, and at its current pace could surpass last year’s final regulation count next week. Rulemaking agencies issued regulations ranging from forage seeding to Mexican bovine brands.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 76 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 73 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 13 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 3,184 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,317 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,050 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,140 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 64,432 pages. It is on pace for 67,117 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 102 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 623 new rules affect small businesses; 25 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.