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Week in Regulation

$549 Million in New Regulatory Costs

Regulators published $549 million in cumulative costs this week, with more than 1.7 million paperwork burden hours; annualized benefits were $520 million, compared to $132 million in annualized costs. A HIPAA rule and an EPA proposal for “New Residential Wood Heaters” led the week in costs.                             

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 44
  • New Final Rules: 55
  • 2014 Significant Documents: 52
  • 2014 Total Pages of Regulation: 7,564
  • 2014 Proposed Rules: $980.4 Million
  • 2014 Final Rules: $1.1 Billion

The costliest proposal was a Health and Human Services regulation to increase patient access to copies of test results. The rule imposes $63 million in annual costs and 1.9 million paperwork burden hours. Regulated clinical laboratories will need to “develop and implement a policy process to receive and respond to patient requests.”

EPA proposed emissions standards for new residential wood heaters. The measure would cost roughly $15 million annually, including $127,000 per regulated entity. EPA estimates $520 million annually in benefits. AAF examined the proposal here.

There was one notable deregulatory measure this week. EPA finalized a rule to its “Hazardous Waste Management System” that authorizes use of an “e-Manifest” system to track hazardous waste. This electronic filing system could save $74 million annually and reduce the administrative burden by 700,000 hours.   

Affordable Care Act

There were no notable health care rulemakings this week. Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed an estimated cost of $24.3 billion in private-sector burdens, approximately $8 billion in costs to the states, and 132.9 million annual paperwork hours.


There were no notable Dodd-Frank rulemakings this week. Click here to view the total estimated compliance costs from Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 60.4 million paperwork burden hours and imposed $17.8 billion in direct compliance costs. Based on calculations from the Financial Services Roundtable, Dodd-Frank regulations would require 30,211 employees to file federal paperwork.

A Note on Notices

There were 483 notices published this week. Regulators proposed 17 new paperwork requirements, imposing 172,694 paperwork burden hours. Only one of these notices bothered to monetize the cost of completing paperwork, adding a total of $31,339 to the overall compliance burden.

There was one major change to existing paperwork requirements (defined as an hourly burden increase or decrease of 500,000 or greater). This change accounted for a net total decrease of 904,794 burden hours. Regulators did not monetize this decrease.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $2.1 billion in compliance costs and has imposed more than 13.2 million paperwork burden hours. Click here for our comprehensive database of regulations and rulemakings promulgated in 2014.


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