Thursday, March 30, 2017

This Week in Ridiculous Regulations

Ryan Young

The Trump administration’s 60-day regulatory freeze is now over, but many of this week’s new regulations are simply extensions of previous delays. So despite a relatively normal count of final rules, few of them actually implement new policies. Delayed rules range from imported lemons to hybrid car noise.
On to the data:

  • Last week, 67 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 31 minutes.
  • Federal agencies have issued 668 final regulations in 2017. At that pace, there will be 2,982 new final regulations. Last year’s total was 3,616 regulations.
  • Last week, 791 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 937 pages the previous week.
  • The 2017 Federal Register totals 15,105 pages. It is on pace for 67,434 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 103 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” so far this year.
  • In 2017, 146 new rules affected small businesses; 36 of them are classified as significant. 
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:

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