Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), allocates federal funds for infrastructure projects that reduce congestion and improve air quality. CMAQ funding may be used for transportation projects that reduce emissions in areas that are not in compliance with federal air quality standards or areas that formerly were not in compliance, but are now meeting those standards. CMAQ funding is available for projects in areas that are not in attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). States that are completely in attainment also receive “a minimum apportionment of CMAQ funding for either air quality projects or other elements of flexible federal aid highway spending.”

CMAQ funding can be used for projects already included in a Metropolitan Planning Organization transportation plan and transportation improvement program (TIP) or a statewide TIP.  TIPs are the four-year planning document that lists the priority transportation projects for the state.

Eligible Adaptation Uses:  Green infrastructure projects would therefore need to be incorporated into these plans in order to be eligible for CMAQ funding. Because CMAQ funding can be used for “bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways,” (23 U.S.C. 217) Such pathways can be designed to include green infrastructure features, such permeable surfaces for trails and bioswales and bioretention areas adjacent to trail surfaces.

Recent Funding:  The most recent federal transportation bill (the FAST Act) provides from $2.3 to almost $2.5 billion in CMAQ funding for each year of the authorization-2016 through 2020.  CMAQ funding is allocated to states according to an established formula.

Statute and Regulations: The Congesting Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) was created under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991 (Sec. 1008, Pub. L. 102-240 (December 18, 1991)) and has been reauthorized by subsequent transportation bills.

 

 

 

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