Diesel emission standards scheduled to go into effect in 2007 will cost the trucking industry about $4 billion annually but will produce health benefits of $75 billion yearly, an Environmental Protection Agency official told an industry forum in Chattanooga, Tennessee yesterday.

“One would say the health benefit outweighs the cost to the industry. There are existing high levels of emissions for diesel fleets," said Margo Oge, who directs the U.S. EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, at the North American Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Conference. "Experts will tell you we can't have a sustainable environment if we don't take action," she said.

Truck engine manufacturers fought the regulations, saying they could not meet new standards because the technology was lacking. Courts have rejected these arguments