After a record-setting 2015, 2016 got off to a slow start, with new rules covering everything from vending machines to Nebraskan sludge. Even so, it may be a busy few months until May 17 or so, when a soft deadline for Congressional Review Act enforcement comes into effect. Congress could potentially block most rules issued after that date, so agencies are likely to hurry as many of this year’s rules as possible. Think of it as an early midnight rush.
On to the data:
- Last week, 32 new final regulations were published in the Federal Register, after 67 the previous week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every five hours and 3 minutes.
- With 32 final regulations published so far in 2016, the federal government is on pace to issue 1,600 regulations in 2016.
- Last week, 1,113 new pages were added to the Federal Register, after 1,401 pages the previous week.
- Currently at 1,113 pages, the 2016 Federal Register is on pace for 27,825 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. No such rules have been published so far in 2016.
- That means this year’s running compliance cost tally stands at zero. 2015’s estimated tally ranges from $6.18 billion to $8.69 billion.
- 3 final rules meeting the broader definition of “significant” have been published this year.
- So far in 2016, 6 new rules affect small businesses; 1 of them is classified as significant.
Highlights from selected final rules published last week:
- New rules for sewage sludge incinerators in Nebraska.
- Plans to link health care databases to criminal background checks. What could possibly go wrong?
- Energy standards for lights in ceiling fans.
- Indirect Food Additives: Paper and Paperboard Components.
- Another regulation for preventing collisions at sea.
- Energy efficiency standards for vending machines.