The number of new regulations this year passed 2,500 last week, and the Federal Register surpassed 60,000 pages. This week could see big news on everything from a possible trade deal with China to impeachment testimony. Meanwhile, rulemaking agencies published new regulations ranging from handling Florida tomatoes to rural telephone banks.
On to the data:
- Last week, 58 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 55 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 54 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 2,557 final regulations in 2019. At that pace, there will be 2,946 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,367 regulations.
- Last week, agencies published 370 notices, for a total of 18,879 in 2019. At that pace, there will be 21,750 new notices this year. Last year’s total was 21,656.
- Last week, 1,591 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,685 pages the previous week.
- The 2019 Federal Register totals 60,881 pages. It is on pace for 70,140 pages. The 2018 total was 68,302 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. Four such rules have been published this year. Five such rules were published in 2018.
- The running cost tally for 2019’s economically significant regulations currently ranges from savings of $4.39 billion to $4.08 billion, mostly from estimated savings on federal spending. The 2018 total ranges from net costs of $220.1 million to $2.54 billion, depending on discount rates and other assumptions.
- Agencies have published 59 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year. 2018’s total was 108 significant final rules.
- So far in 2019, 424 new rules affect small businesses; 20 of them are classified as significant. 2018’s totals were 660 rules affecting small businesses, with 29 of them significant.
Highlights from last week’s new final regulations:
- People may now electronically file documents to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
- The Rural Utilities Service is repealing some obsolete rules for rural telephone banks and transitioning to digital television.
- FVAP (the Federal Voting Assistance Program).
- The Wage and Hour Division now accepts electronic payments.
- The Army is removing a regulation for obtaining information from financial institutions.
- The Land Management Bureau is increasing 24 of its fees for mineral program-related actions.
- The Colorado butterfly plant, due to recovery, is no longer an endangered species.
- Americans may now import Siluriformes fish from China.
- Thailand, too.
- And Vietnam.
- Federal funding methodology for state-level Basic Health Programs.
- Regulations for handling tomatoes from Florida.
- The Internal Revenue Service is removing Section 385 documentation regulations, which have to do with a corporation proving its indebtedness.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities is correcting regulations from July 2019 to implement the Privacy Act of 1974.
- A correction to a recent rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms removing some old-timey rules for transporting firearms.
- Fee increase for people helping H-1B visa applicants.
- Chicken imports from China.