New emissions standards will slash pollution from locomotive and marine diesel engines by up to 90 percent, helping Americans to breathe cleaner air as soon as this year, according to the EPA.

"As more and more goods flow through our ports and railways, EPA is cutting diesel emissions at their source — keeping our nation on track toward a clean, healthy, productive tomorrow," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

When fully implemented, EPA's Clean Diesel Locomotive and Marine standards will reduce soot or particulate matter (PM) by 90 percent or 27,000 tons and reduce nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) by 80 percent or nearly 800,000 tons. Nationwide this regulation will help prevent 1,400 premature deaths and 120,000 lost workdays annually in 2030, according to EPA.

The estimated annual health benefits from the new standards are valued between $8.4 billion and $12 billion. When these older locomotive and marine engines reach the end of their useful life and new engines enter into the nation's diesel fleet, the benefits of the new rule will increase.

The rule cuts emissions from all types of diesel locomotives, including line-haul, switch, and passenger rail, as well as from a wide range of marine sources, including ferries, tugboats, Great Lake freighters and all types of marine auxiliary engines.

For the first time ever, this rule requires remanufacturing standards for marine engines, reductions in engine idling, and the use of after-treatment technology that will further reduce diesel emissions.