This week in the world of regulation:
- Last week, 61 new final rules were published, up from 60 the previous hurricane-shortened week.
- That’s the equivalent of a new regulation every 2 hours and 46 minutes — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- All in all, 3,256 final rules have been published in the Federal Register this year.
- If this keeps up, the total tally for 2012 will be 3,795 new rules.
- Last week, 1,168 new pages were added to the 2012 Federal Register, for a total of 67,425 pages.
- At its current pace, the 2012 Federal Register will run 77,323 pages.
- Rules are called “economically significant” if they have costs of $100 million or more in a given year. The 43 such rules published so far in 2012 have compliance costs of at least $23.9 billion. Two of the rules do not have cost estimates, and a third cost estimate does not give a total annual cost. We assume that rules lacking this basic transparency measure cost the bare minimum of $100 million per year. The true cost is almost certainly higher.
- One economically significant rule was published last week.
- So far, 313 final rules that meet the broader definition of “significant” have been published in 2012.
- So far this year, 610 final rules affect small business; 88 of them are significant rules.
Highlights from final rules published last week:
- An economically significant health care rule would increase Medicare spending by about $250 million next year on end-stage renal disease. I am scoring this rule as zero-cost in our running tally, since the costs are in government spending, not compliance.
- New residue testing requirements under the National Organic Program.
- The FAA has withdrawn a rule previously mentioned in this space that would have established voluntary licenses for amateur rocketry. Public commenters argued that the rule would be costly for small businesses, rocket enthusiasts, and the government itself, with little in the way of safety benefits. They were persuasive enough that the FAA withdrew the rule. Kudos for listening, FAA.
- The CPSC has released new safety standards for infant swings.
- The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service has amended its Freedom of Information Act regulations.