Happy New Year to all of our regulatory followers! Wayne Crews previously summed up 2014’s year-end statistics in this post. Among the highlights are 3,541 new regulations, which by my calculations is equivalent to a new regulation every two hours and 28 minutes. Last year’s 79,978 Federal Register page count is also good for fifth-largest all time, going back to 1936.
The 2015 Federal Register already has more than a full week of data, with new rules ranging from heated pools to flying musical instruments. Despite a total page count that passed 1,000 pages in just the fourth issue, the numbers of proposed and final rules are both off to modest starts. Many rules are timed to take effect every New Year’s Day, and this staggered timing leads to frequent early-January slowdowns, so look for this to change before too long.
On to the data:
- Last week, 29 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, less than half the usual pace in recent years.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every five hours and 48 minutes.
- So far in 2015, 38 final regulations have been published in the Federal Register. At that pace, there will be a total of 1,583 new regulations this year, less than half the usual total.
- Last week, 1,326 new pages were added to the Federal Register.
- Currently at 1,467 pages, the 2015 Federal Register is on pace for 61,125 pages, or nearly 19,000 pages less than last year. Look for this to change.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. One such rule has been published so far this year.
- The total estimated compliance cost of 2015’s economically significant regulations is $477 million for the current year.
- Three final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published so far this year.
- So far in 2015, seven new rules affect small businesses; one of them is classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- This year’s first economically significant regulation is for a caregivers program for veterans. It is expected to cost $1.67 billion over the next three years, and $477 million in the 2015 fiscal year.
- In New London, Connecticut, there is a drawbridge crossing over the Thames River—not to be confused with the more famous Thames River traversing through London, England. A new federal regulation dictates when that drawbridge goes up and down.
- If you have lending or marketing troubles, and you grow “wheat, feed grains, soybeans, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, cotton, honey, [and/or] wool and mohair,” then the federal government has an offer for you.
- The federal government is sticking by its current definitions of “Growth Impairment, Musculoskeletal System, Respiratory System, Cardiovascular System, Digestive System, Hematological Disorders, Skin Disorders, Neurological, and Mental Disorders.” This will allow it to stay current with “step three of the sequential evaluation processes for initial claims and continuing disability reviews.”
- In 2007, funding ceased for FLEP, a federal program to enhance forests. In 2015, the Forest Service issued regulations to close the program.
- New testing procedures for pool heaters’ energy efficiency.
- And for HVAC, refrigeration, and water heating equipment.
- If you bring a musical instrument onto an airplane, make sure it doesn’t block a “no smoking” sign, or you will violate this regulation (p. 163, bottom left).
- A federal regulation for a television channel change in Dayton, Ohio.