This Week in Ridiculous Regulations


Last week, people got worked up over hamburgers and a television commercial about razors. Meanwhile the partial federal shutdown continued, and a bill to introduce a $15 federal minimum wage was introduced. Tuesday’s one-page Federal Register may have set a record for brevity, with just one agency notice and no new regulations. Regulations that did appear during the week range from Chinese archaeology to Rolls-Royce engines.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 10 new final regulation was published in the Federal Register, after 1 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 16 hours and 48 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 12 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 231 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
  • Last week, 85 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 69 pages the previous week.
  • The 2019 Federal Register totals 194 pages. It is on pace for 3,731 pages. The 2018 total was 68,082 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. No such rules have been published this year, with just one since last June 12. Six such rules were published in 2018.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations is currently zero. The 2018 total ranges from $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
  • Agencies have published no final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
  • So far in 2019, no new rules affect small businesses; none of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, 29 of them significant.

All of last week’s new final regulations:

For more data, see Ten Thousand Commandments and follow @10KC and @RegoftheDay on Twitter.