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US Supreme Court to Intervene in US-Mexico Truck Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to intervene in a two-decade-old dispute over allowing Mexican trucks on U.S. roadways.

The high court said Monday it would hear a Bush administration appeal of a ruling that says an environmental study must be conducted before the trucks can be allowed on U.S. highways. The study is expected to take at least one year.

Since 1982, Mexican trucks have been allowed only in 32-kilometer commercial border zones, where goods must be transferred to U.S. trucks for deliveries within the United States.

Environmental and labor organizations say U.S. transportation officials underestimated the impact that older, diesel trucks operated by some Mexican firms would have on air quality in border states struggling to reduce air pollution.

U.S. officials say it is cumbersome and expensive to offload Mexican cargo to American trucks. Mexico's trucks make about 4.5 million border crossings each year.