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This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

It was a four-day work week due to President’s Day, and things remained slow due to the regulatory freeze. The week’s Federal Register page count was, once again, one of the lowest since the last government shutdown. Agencies proposed 20 new regulations and finalized 43, both less than half their usual totals. Also note that many of the new final regulations are simply delaying the enactment of previous rules. This will likely be the case for another month or so. New regulations that were issued range from toddler beds to potato proteins.

On to the data:

  • Last week, 43 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 37 the previous week.
  • That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours and 51 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 448 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 3,111 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,616 regulations.
  • Last week, 655 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 690 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 11,785 pages. It is on pace for 81,841 pages. The all-time record adjusted page count (which subtracts 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. Seven such rules have been published this year, none in the last week.
  • The running compliance cost tally for 2016’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.8 billion to $13.2 billion.
  • Agencies have published 88 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 103 new rules affected small businesses; 28 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.