Federal Regulations: Efforts to Estimate Total Costs and Benefits of Rules Page: 5 of 21
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environmental quality, workplace safety, and consumer protection grew rapidly
during the 1960s and 1970s with the creation of such agencies as the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
In addition to these regulatory agencies, most cabinet departments and other
agencies issue regulations that affect the public in a variety of ways. For example,
the Department of Agriculture regulates the price, production, import, and export of
agricultural crops; the safety of meat, poultry, and certain other food products, and
broad-reaching welfare programs. Agencies within the Department of Transportation
set safety standards for highways and heavy trucks (Federal Highway
Administration), automobiles and light trucks (National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, or NHTSA), and railroads (Federal Railroad Administration). Taken
together, federal regulations now affect virtually every person, business, and
government in the United States.
Types of Rules
The types of regulations that federal agencies issue have been categorized into
the following groups:
" economic regulations that directly restrict businesses' pricing and
output decisions as well as limit the entry or exit of businesses into
or out of certain types of industries. These regulations often affect
the agriculture, trucking, banking, or communications industries,
among others, and (as mentioned previously) have often been
administered by independent regulatory agencies such as the SEC or
" environmental regulations that focus on protecting or improving the
quality of the environment, and include those issued by EPA as well
as the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and the Interior;
" other social regulations that are designed to advance the health and
safety of consumers and workers, promote social goals such as equal
opportunity, provide equal access to facilities, and protect the public
from fraud and deception. Examples include regulations issued by
OSHA, NHTSA, and the Food and Drug Administration;
" process regulations that involve paperwork, such as income tax
forms, applications for procurement contracts, and immigration
papers. The Internal Revenue Service currently accounts for about
80% of the governmentwide paperwork estimate; and
" transfer regulations that move payments from one group in society
to another, such as federal Social Security payments (from taxpayers
to recipients) and agricultural price supports (from taxpayers to
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Federal Regulations: Efforts to Estimate Total Costs and Benefits of Rules, report, May 14, 2004; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc805490/m1/5/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.