New website to track regulatory delays

At, Public Citizen will keep track, on a daily basis, of regulations that have been held up by the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which reviews all significant safety regulations before they are implemented and has been the source of lengthy delays for numerous important regulations. Although OIRA is supposed to complete its review within 90 days (with one 30-day extension available), regulations have lingered in limbo there for many months, even years. (For our prior discussion of one egregious example from the auto-safety context, see here.)

As of this posting, the new website's "Delay Tracker Dashboard" notes that 23 rules are over the 120-day limit right now. The site also informs us that:

  • Rules addressing child nutrition, oil pipeline hazards and discrimination against people with disabilities are among those experiencing the greatest delays.
  • Regulatory delays have a high price. Recent regulatory delays at OIRA that exceeded the statutory limit cost no less than $12 billion overall. Faster rulemaking could have saved thousands of lives, prevented thousands of injuries and kept millions of Americans from getting sick.
  • In 2014, 33 proposed rules were approved without changes, and 24 rules were withdrawn by the agencies from which they originated because OIRA would not approve them.

Hopefully this new tool will enable advocates to shine on light on an underscrutinized and sometimes dysfunctional aspect of the federal regulatory process.

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