Shortly before Thanksgiving, the administration released its fall 2013 regulatory agenda, or “Unified Agenda.” Every federal agency, including independent agencies, submits an upcoming schedule of pending or recently completed regulatory actions.

As the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) noted, “[T]he Agenda is a more inclusive list, including numerous ministerial actions and routine rulemakings, as well as long-term initiatives that agencies do not plan to complete in the coming year.” OIRA also stated that agencies will soon submit updated retrospective review plans this winter to improve “the actual results of regulatory requirements.”

What’s new in the regulatory front? Not much, as the Agenda lists an affirmative action measure for individuals with disabilities as the lone new regulation that contains unfunded private sector mandates. However, that final rule was published last month, and imposed $1 billion in costs, more than 3.3 million paperwork burden hours, and no quantified benefits.

The Agenda does list 15 new “major” rules, including a revised “Gainful Employment” rule from the Department of Education  and two Department of Transportation measures, one for heavy vehicle speed limiters and a rule to update safety standards for passenger rail. In addition, the Department of Energy will soon begin to regulate efficiency standards for portable air conditioners, which is economically significant, but not major.

Most of the Agenda simply provides updates for completion time of pending regulatory measures. For example, EPA expects to propose greenhouse gas standards for existing and modified sources next June, but does not list a date for finalizing standards for new facilities.

The long-awaited Volcker rule is expected this month and Treasury expects to finalize special assessments on large banks by March. Dodd-Frank rules are below in italics and remaining Affordable Care Act rulemakings are bolded, presented with other notable rulemakings and possible compliance costs.   

December 2013

Agency

Rule Stage

Title

RIN

Possible Cost (in Millions)

DOE

Proposed

Conservation Standards for Furnace Fans

1904-AC22

$5,800

DOE

Final

Conservation Standards: Battery Chargers

1904-AB57

$4,200

HHS

Proposed

Serving Sizes of Foods

0910-AF23

 

HHS

Final

Provider Payment Reassignments

0938-AO53

$580

Treasury

Final

Volcker Rule

1557-AD44

 

SEC

Proposed

Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements for Security-Based Swaps

3235-AL45

 

January 2014

EPA

Final

Standards for Cooling Water Intake

2040-AE95

$5,351

HHS

Proposed

Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

0910-AG98

 

February 2014

HHS

Final

Calorie Labeling: Vending Machines

0910-AG56

$421.3

HHS

Final

Food Labeling for Restaurants

0910-AG57

$757.1

DOE

Proposed

Conservation Standards: Refrigeration Equipment

1904-AC19

$1,967

EPA

Final

Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions

2060-AQ86

$35,100

Education

Proposed

Gainful Employment 

1840-AD15

 

USDA

Final

Certification of Compliance With School Lunch Standards

0584-AE15

 

March 2014

Treasury

Final

Assessment of Fees for Large Banks

1505-AC42

 

DOL

Final

Persuader Agreements

1245-AA03

 

USDA

Proposed

Citizenship Implementation

0575-AC86

 

April 2014

DOE

Proposed

Conservation Standards: Walk-In Coolers

1904-AB86

$7,200

DHS

Final

Worker Identification Credential

1625-AB21

$186.1

May 2014

HHS

Final

Covered Outpatient Drugs

0938-AQ41

$104

CFPB

Proposed

Requirements for Prepaid Cards

3170-AA22

 

EPA

Final

Underground Storage Tank Rules

2050-AG46

$210

EPA

Final

Effluent Guidelines for Power Plants

2040-AF14

$954.1

June 2014

DOL

Final

Personal Fall Protection Systems

1218-AB80

$173.2

EPA

Proposed

GHG Guidelines for Existing Sources

2060-AR33

 

EPA

Proposed

GHG Guidelines for Modified Sources

2060-AR88

 

HHS

Proposed

Updated Standards for Labeling of Pet Food 

0910-AG09

 

HHS

Final

Adoption of Operating Rules for HIPAA Transactions

0938-AS01

 

August 2014

DOL

Proposed

Conflict of Interest-Investment Advice

1210-AB32

 

DHS

Final

Importer Security Filing

1651-AA70

$70,000

DHS

Proposed

General Aviation Security

1652-AA53

 

September 2014

EPA

Final

Formaldehyde Emissions Standards for Composite Wood Products

2070-AJ92

$512

October 2014

SEC

Final

Rules for Security Swap Dealers

3235-AL12

$210

DOE

Prerule

Conservation Standards: Refrigerated Vending Machines

1904-AD00

 

DOL

Final

Wage Methodology: H-2B Program

1205-AB69

 

To Be Determined

EPA

Prerule

Coal Combustion Residuals

2050-AE81

 

EPA

Long-Term

Review of NAAQS for Ozone

2060-AP38

 

EPA

Final

GHG Guidelines for New Sources

2060-AQ91

 

DOL

Final

Exposure to Crystalline Silica

1218-AB70

$6,524

HHS

Final

Produce Safety Regulation

0910-AG35

$3,216

Total Possible Cost: $143.4 Billion

The possible cost of $143 billion is based on the listed total cost of the proposed rule, if applicable. Earlier this year, AAF predicted approximately $123 billion in total regulatory costs, and at the current pace, the regulatory burden for 2013 will eclipse $110 billion.

Finally, the calendar above does not predict future costs of pending proposed rules. For example, there are 18 pending energy efficiency rulemakings from the administration. The average cost of an efficiency rule in 2013 was $3.8 billion, so AAF’s estimate of $143 billion for 2014 will depend on how quickly, or how slowly, agencies and OIRA actually finalize rulemakings.