The federal government has approved a portion of the Bay Area´s overall plan to reduce smog, lifting restrictions on federal highway funding.
More than 700 million dollars in transportation projects have been frozen since January 21st because the US Environmental Protection Agency hadn´t approved a plan for cleaning the air.
Bay Area government agencies had to estimate future emissions from vehicles on Bay Area roads. The EPA approved the portion of the plan Thursday.
The nine-county region has violated ozone attainment standards seven times in the last three years. Federal law says any area that violates clean-air standards must come up with a plan to reduce smog.
The EPA still must approve the overall plan outlining how the Bay Area will meet federal air quality standards.