In a mere nine working days, the 2017 Federal Register has nearly reached 5,000 pages; the midnight hour approaches. New rules from the last week range from school lunches to bumblebees.
On to the data:
- Last week, 82 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 52 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every two hours and 3 minutes.
- Federal agencies have issued 134 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,722 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,853 regulations.
- Last week, 2,573 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 2,189 pages the previous week.
- The 2017 Federal Register totals 4,762 pages. It is on pace for 132,278 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which accounts for skips, jumps, and blank pages) is 96,994, set last year. The unadjusted count was 97,110 pages.
- 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, three in the last week.
- The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.6 billion to $12.8 billion.
- Agencies have published 15 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
- In 2017, 27 new rules affected small businesses; 4 of them are classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- Lead paint has been illegal since 1978. Nearly 40 years later, it is still in many federally-owned housing units, as well as federally-subsidized private housing, leading to a new regulation.
- Water-borne diseases at government housing on a military base over the period 1953-1987.
- Flu virus detection. This particular rule is from the Obama administration and isn’t particularly consequential. But given the incoming administration’s anti-vaccination stances, the larger issue is worth keeping an eye on, especially on behalf of children and the elderly.
- A revised compliance guide for small businesses who do contract work for the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and/or NASA. By the looks of it, this could turn small law firms into big ones. See the entire Code of Federal Regulations rule here (48 CFR Chapter 1).
- Another regulation for preventing collisions at sea, which is not difficult to do. This makes 548 such regulations since 1994.
- The rusty patched bumblebee is now an endangered species.
- Energy efficiency standards for low-rise federal housing.
- Information collection for school lunches.