Nov 8, 2010 5:26 PM
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says two California regions plagued with the nation's worst air quality must submit plans to clean up their soot-laden air or risk losing federal highway funding.
Regional EPA Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said Monday state air quality managers haven't proven that their plans will reduce air pollution in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley enough to meet federal standards for airborne dust, smoke and soot.
The microscopic pollution particles have been linked to premature deaths, as well as respiratory problems, heart attacks and lung cancer.
Blumenfeld says the state must send EPA plans detailing how the regions will reduce fine particulate pollution to acceptable levels. Before the EPA's proposal becomes final, it is open to public comment for 60 days.
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