On to the data:
- Last week, 56 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register. There were 95 new final rules the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every three hours.
- All in all, 3,474 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2013 will be 3,619 new final rules.
- Last week, 2,339 new pages were added to the 2013 Federal Register, for a total of 75,432 pages. This year’s Federal Register is already the 7th largest in its 78-year history.
- At its current pace, the 2013 Federal Register will run 78,575 pages, which would be good for fifth all time. The current record is 81,405 pages, set in 2010.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. Three such rules were published last week, for a total of 40 so far in 2013.
- The total estimated compliance costs of this year’s economically significant regulations ranges from $6.42 billion to $11.83 billion.
- So far, 315 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2013.
- So far this year, 683 final rules affect small business; 98 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- Two of this week’s economically significant rules (1, 2) are from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Both rules affect spending and not compliance costs, so I am scoring them as zero-cost in our running compliance cost tally. The second rule’s cost estimate in particular stands out for its opacity.
- The third economically significant rule also involves health care, but it comes from the Defense Department. It also affects spending but not compliance costs, so I am scoring it as zero-cost. It estimates savings to the DoD of $120 million, plus $28 million in reduced copayments.
- Some time ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established speed limits for larger ships to prevent collisions with North Atlantic right whales. The rule came with a sunset, meaning it would automatically expire after a certain amount of time. On Monday, the NOAA removed the sunset, making the rule permanent.
- New safety standards for infant bath seats, toddler beds, and full-size baby cribs.
- The Fish and Wildlife Service issues eagle permits.