FHWA’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ)

This federal assistance program was first authorized in 1991 and has been funded ever since under the multi-year surface transportation authorizing legislation packages. The most recent FAST Act package provides an average of $2.4 billion annually through 2020. CMAQ funds are apportioned to states based on a funding formula.

Eligible Activities

Funds may be used for transportation projects that are likely to contribute to the attainment or maintenance of a national ambient air quality standard and that have a high level of effectiveness in reducing air pollution. Eligible projects must also be included in the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO’s) current transportation plan and transportation improvement program (TIP) or the current state transportation improvement program (STIP) in areas without an MPO.

CMAQ supports projects across surface transportation modes. Some eligible investments include:

  • Establishment or operation of a traffic monitoring, management, and control facility, including advanced truck stop electrification systems.
  • Projects that improve traffic flow, including projects to improve signalization, construct HOV lanes, improve intersections, add turning lanes, improve transportation systems management and operations and to implement intelligent transportation systems. This includes projects to improve incident and emergency response or improve mobility, such as real-time traffic, transit and multimodal traveler information.
  • Purchase of integrated, interoperable emergency communications equipment.
  • Projects that shift traffic demand to nonpeak hours or other transportation modes, increase vehicle occupancy rates or otherwise reduce demand.
  • Purchase of diesel retrofits or conduct of related outreach activities.
  • Installation of vehicle to infrastructure communications equipment.
  • Projects involving technologies for non-road vehicles and non-road engines that are used in port-related freight operations.
  • Development of facilities serving electric or natural gas-fueled vehicles.

CMAQ funds may be invested in all ozone, CO, and PM nonattainment and maintenance areas. Funds also may be used for projects in proximity to nonattainment and maintenance areas if the benefits will be realized primarily within the nonattainment or maintenance area.

Federal Nonattainment & Maintenance Areas for Different Pollutants

The Application Process

The CMAQ application and selection process may occur at either the state or MPO level. FHWA and FTA coordinate with the local agencies to review applications and approve eligibility.

Seneca has a prepared successful CMAQ applications for road and rail projects and we have a particular expertise in developing diesel locomotive (non-road engine) retrofit projects. For more information on how we can specifically support your CMAQ project from concept through application, please contact us.