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Smog Violation Imperils 70 Transit Projects

The State | IN BRIEF / SAN FRANCISCO

September 30, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

As many as 70 Bay Area transportation projects are in jeopardy because the area failed to meet federal air pollution standards.

On two days last year, the Bay Area registered air pollution ratings above the federal standard, exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency's one-day allowance for the region, Ellen Garvey of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District told KTVU.

Though the margin of error was small, the penalty could be huge. More than $1.3 billion in federal funding is on hold. Bay Area officials have about three weeks to present a plan of action to the EPA showing how the area's air can be made cleaner.

Meanwhile, projects that could be affected include a planned extension of Bay Area Rapid Transit lines to San Jose, the rebuilding of Santa Clara's Caltrain station, the widening of Contra Costa County's Ignacio Valley Road and an overhaul of the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge interchange. Some of those projects were scheduled to begin next year.

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