Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)
The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) provides federal funding for states to support projects and programs intended to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. As defined by federal regulations and guidance, examples of projects eligible for CMAQ funding include:
- Traffic flow improvements
- Public transit services and facilities
- Alternative fuel vehicles and fueling stations
- Bicycle and pedestrian facilities and programs
- Rideshare activities and outreach to commuters and employers
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance programs
- Truck stop electrification
- Diesel retrofits
CMAQ funds generally can only be used to support projects in areas not in conformity with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The entirety of Massachusetts is out of compliance with the NAAQS ozone standard, thereby allowing CMAQ-funded projects to be implemented in every Commonwealth community and on a statewide basis.
CMAQ funding is apportioned to the states based on a calculation of relative air quality and the number of residents affected by air pollution. Under SAFETEA-LU, Massachusetts’ CMAQ apportionment was about $64 million for federal fiscal year 2011.
CMAQ Planning Process
In Massachusetts, CMAQ projects are identified and selected by the ten Metropolitan Planning Organizations and three non-metropolitan regional commissions or councils (referred to collectively as MPOs), each of which is empowered to include CMAQ-funded projects in its annual Transportation Improvement Program. Prior to programming by such organizations, CMAQ projects must be reviewed by the CMAQ Consultation Committee, which is responsible for determining whether a project shows an air quality benefit and is eligible for CMAQ funding. The members of the Committee represent MassDOT, DEP, U.S. DOT, U.S. EPA, and the MPOs.
In addition to funding MPO-selected projects, MassDOT pursues a statewide CMAQ program. In this program, most of the projects submitted for review are developed by state agencies. The Commonwealth has used the statewide CMAQ program as a way to support a number of projects and initiatives, including the increased use of alternative fuels, the MassRIDES Travel Options program, and the Diesel Bus Retrofit Program in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection.
Federal Highway Administration’s program guidance
Surface Transportation Program (STP)
The Surface Transportation Program provides flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for projects on any Federal-aid highway, including the NHS, bridge projects on any public road, transit capital projects, and intracity and intercity bus terminals and facilities.
Apportioned funds are to be distributed based on the following factors:
- 25% based on total lane miles of Federal-aid highways
- 40% based on vehicle miles traveled on lanes on Federal-aid highways
- 35% based on estimated tax payments attributable to highway users in the States into the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund (often referred to as "contributions" to the Highway Account
Each State is to receive a minimum of ½% of the funds apportioned for STP.
Eligible Use of Funds
- A State may obligate funds apportioned to it under section 104 (b)(3) for the surface transportation program only for the following:
- Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, resurfacing, restoration, and operational improvements for highways (including Interstate highways) and bridges (including bridges on public roads of all functional classifications), including any such construction or reconstruction necessary to accommodate other transportation modes, and including the seismic retrofit and painting of and application of calcium magnesium acetate, sodium acetate/formate, or other environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-icing and de-icing compositions on bridges and approaches thereto and other elevated structures, mitigation of damage to wildlife, habitat, and ecosystems caused by a transportation project funded under this title.
- Capital costs for transit projects eligible for assistance under chapter 53 of title 49, including vehicles and facilities, whether publicly or privately owned, that are used to provide intercity passenger service by bus.
- Carpool projects, fringe and corridor parking facilities and programs, bicycle transportation and pedestrian walkways in accordance with section 217, and the modification of public sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
- Highway and transit safety infrastructure improvements and programs, hazard eliminations, projects to mitigate hazards caused by wildlife, and railway-highway grade crossings.
- Highway and transit research and development and technology transfer programs.
- Capital and operating costs for traffic monitoring, management, and control facilities and programs, including advanced truck stop electrification systems.
- Surface transportation planning programs.
- Transportation enhancement activities.
- Transportation control measures listed in section 108 (f)(1)(A) (other than clause (xvi)) of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7408 (f)(1)(A)).
- Development and establishment of management systems under section 303.
- In accordance with all applicable Federal law and regulations, participation in natural habitat and wetlands mitigation efforts related to projects funded under this title, which may include participation in natural habitat and wetlands mitigation banks; contributions to statewide and regional efforts to conserve, restore, enhance, and create natural habitats and wetlands; and development of statewide and regional natural habitat and wetlands conservation and mitigation plans, including any such banks, efforts, and plans authorized pursuant to the Water Resources Development Act of 1990 (including crediting provisions). Contributions to such mitigation efforts may take place concurrent with or in advance of project construction. Contributions toward these efforts may occur in advance of project construction only if such efforts are consistent with all applicable requirements of Federal law and regulations and State transportation planning processes. With respect to participation in a natural habitat or wetland mitigation effort related to a project funded under this title that has an impact that occurs within the service area of a mitigation bank, preference shall be given, to the maximum extent practicable, to the use of the mitigation bank if the bank contains sufficient available credits to offset the impact and the bank is approved in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks (60 Fed. Reg. 58605 (November 28, 1995)) or other applicable Federal law (including regulations).
- Projects relating to intersections that—
- have disproportionately high accident rates;
- have high levels of congestion, as evidenced by interrupted traffic flow at the intersection; and a level of service rating that is not better than “F” during peak travel hours, calculated in accordance with the Highway Capacity Manual issued by the Transportation Research Board; and are located on a Federal-aid highway.
- Infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements.
- Environmental restoration and pollution abatement in accordance with section 328.
- Control of noxious weeds and aquatic noxious weeds and establishment of native species in accordance with section 329.
The Federal share is generally 80 percent, subject to the sliding scale adjustment. When the funds are used for Interstate projects to add high occupancy vehicle or auxiliary lanes, but not other lanes, the Federal share may be 90 percent, also subject to the sliding scale adjustment. Certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c) have a Federal share of 100 percent.
Interstate Maintenance Program (IM)
The Interstate Maintenance (IM) program provides funding for resurfacing, restoring, rehabilitating and reconstructing (4R) most routes on the Interstate System.
Funds are apportioned to States based on the following factors:
- 33-1/3% based on lane miles on Interstate System routes open to traffic
- 33-1/3% based on total vehicle miles traveled on Interstate System routes open to traffic
- 33-1/3% based on State's annual contributions to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund attributable to commercial vehicles.
Eligible Use of Funds
Projects on routes on the Interstate System, except those added under 23 USC 103(c)(4)(A) that were not previously designated future Interstate under former 23 UCS 139(b), as well as any segments that become part of the Interstate System under Section 1105(e)(5) of ISTEA are eligible for funding. Construction of additional Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) lanes continues to be ineligible for IM program funds.
IM program funds may not be used on a facility where tolls are being collected under the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program [TEA-21 1216(b)] or the Interstate System Construction Toll Pilot Program. [1604(c)(7)]
The Federal share is 90 percent, subject to the sliding scale adjustment. Certain safety improvements listed in 23 USC 120(c) have a Federal share of 100 percent.
Other Available Funding Considerations
For additional information, please contact:
, Transportation Planner
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