Week in Regulation

A New Year in Regulations

After more than $112 billion in total regulatory activity last year, the first seven workdays of the year added a modest $63 million in proposed and final rule costs. In addition, regulators actually cut more than 14,000 paperwork hours. Final rules from the Department of State, EPA, and the Food and Nutrition Service all cut hours and costs.

Regulatory Toplines

  • New Proposed Rules: 89
  • New Final Rules: 64
  • 2014 Significant Documents: 24
  • 2014 Total Pages of Regulation: 2,074
  • 2014 Proposed Rules: $98.7 Million
  • 2014 Final Rules: -$34.8 Million

This week EPA finally published its greenhouse gas standards for future power plants. The 91-page proposal has already generated more than 200 comments and thousands of additional comments are likely. The regulation contains no cost estimates and only 396 additional paperwork hours, but it has profound implications for future energy policy. AAF initially reviewed the proposal when EPA released it in September.

The Department of State and EPA reduced burdens this week, leading to a net decline in paperwork. State amended international arms control regulations, cutting more than 109,000 burden hours. EPA is encouraging the sequestration of carbon dioxide by excluding it from the definition of hazardous waste. Cost savings are estimated at $7 million, with modest cuts to paperwork hours.

Affordable Care Act

A proposal implementing parts of Affordable Care Act (ACA) had the biggest burdens to start the year. Technical changes to Medicare will costs Medicare Advantage providers approximately $9 million annually during the next five years, primarily due to audit costs.  

Since passage, based on total lifetime costs of the regulations, the Affordable Care Act has imposed an estimated cost of $24.2 billion in private-sector burdens, approximately $8.5 billion in costs to the states, and 132.9 million annual paperwork hours.


There were five Dodd-Frank regulations this week, but none added significant paperwork burdens or large costs. Click here to view the total estimated compliance costs from Dodd-Frank; since passage, the legislation has produced more than 58.1 million paperwork burden hours and imposed $17.7 billion in direct compliance costs. Based on calculations from the Financial Services Roundtable, Dodd-Frank regulations would require 30,303 employees to file federal paperwork.

Total Burdens

Since January 1, the federal government has published $63.9 million in compliance costs and has cut more than 14,000 paperwork burden hours. Click here for our comprehensive database of regulations and rulemakings promulgated in 2014.