Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Cornhusker Economics.


Used by permission.


Diesel engine performance and costs represent crucial factors for agricultural producers while pollutants from the exhaust are largely a social concern but also important to producers. Beginning in 1970, Congress authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions with amendments in subsequent years (U.S. EPA, 2023). In 1996 the EPA issued strict Exhaust Emission Standards for Nonroad Compression-Ignition Engines, causing a major paradigm shift in acceptable emission levels. A primary concern coming from many manufacturers was the difficulty of designing an engine to meet these standards without compromising the engines’ power output and efficient fuel consumption (Lloyd and Cackette 2001; EPA Final Rule 2004). In this article, we examine the impact of fuel efficiencies as exhaust emission standards evolved in stringency from their beginning in 1996 to today’s standard.