Valley air rules need modification

Federal officials on Monday announced they would reject part of the San Joaquin Valley's air cleanup plan for deadly soot, raising the possibility that federal road-building funds could be frozen.

The state Air Resources Board is charged with creating rules for diesel trucks, buses and off-road equipment such as tractors, accounting for about half of the valley's projected soot reductions.

The air board is expected to take final action on the rules in December.

They are expected to be submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before the end of the year.