2020 Regulatory Year in Review:

Ten Important Regulatory and Deregulatory Developments
January 13, 2021

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This Regulatory Insight recaps ten notable themes related to federal regulations that occurred in 2020. Regulatory policymaking frequently intersected with noteworthy challenges facing the country. Agencies took various regulatory actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The midnight regulation phenomenon also resurfaced at the end of the Trump administration, as it has for previous outgoing presidents. Among other important actions, some represent multi-year efforts of the Trump administration, such as the update to regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), while others signal the initiation of possible rulemakings, such as reinterpreting the laws governing the liability of social media companies. Under a new administration with different policy priorities, many of these rulemaking activities and their implementation will face great uncertainty.

2020 Regulatory Year in Review, By: Mark Febrizio and Zhoudan Xie.



1. Midnight Regulations
2. Emergency Regulations Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic
3. Regulations Implementing COVID-19 Economic Relief Bills
4. Regulatory Relief, Extensions, and Exemptions
5. Agency Compliance with EO 13891 on Guidance Documents
6. Immigration Regulations
7. Section 230 and Social Media Regulation
8. Updating NEPA Regulations
9. EPA Rules on Regulatory Process
10. Substantive Environmental Actions