This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


In an eventful week that included criminal justice reform, shutdown drama, and cabinet drama, this year’s new regulations exceeded 2017’s total with more than a week to spare. Rulemaking agencies issued regulations ranging from satellite royalties to tax preparer penalties.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 82 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 76 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 3 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 3,266 final regulations in 2018. At that pace, there will be 3,333 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,236 regulations.
  • Last week, 1,641 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,050 pages the previous week.
  • The 2018 Federal Register totals 66,075 pages. It is on pace for 67,424 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. Six such rules have been published this year, one in the last week—the first since June 12.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2018’s economically significant regulations ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion. Until last week, the net costs were actually net savings.
  • Agencies have published 108 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • So far in 2018, 638 new rules affect small businesses; 29 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.