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If the proof is in the pudding, then President Reagan's recipe for deregulation is a success.

The District of Columbia's US Court of Appeals has seen a sudden drop in the number of appeals businesses or lobbies have filed over federal regulations. The D.C. court handles about one-fourth of all the appeals made across the US.

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Environmental Protection Agency rules brought an average 18 appeals a month last year. Now there are only two per month. Appeals are also down dramatically for energy and communication regulations. The drop ends five years of steadily mounting appeals of federal rules.

''The new administration has had an impact,'' says a court official.m

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