This report summarizes the eighth-year (FY 1999) of program expenditures associated with the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ). For additional copies of this and prior CMAQ annual reports prepared by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), for fiscal years 1992 through 1998, please contact the FHWA's Office of Natural Environment at (202) 366-6724.
This summary for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1999, (FY 1999) includes information collected from State departments of transportation (DOT) in their annual CMAQ reports submitted to FHWA in 2000. The annual CMAQ reports provided data related to project types and categories, project descriptions, and potential air quality benefits in terms of emissions removed from the atmosphere. For additional guidance related to CMAQ annual reporting requirements, please refer to the FHWA/FTA's Guidance on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program Under the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21), dated April 28, 1999, which can be found on the FHWA web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/policy_and_guidance/cmaq08gm.cfm.
The TEA-21 made many new program changes that are reflected in the final guidance released by FHWA and FTA in the spring of 1999. Some of the programs now eligible for CMAQ funding under TEA-21 include: a) extreme low-temperature cold-start programs; b) magnetic levitation transportation technologies; and c) public-private initiatives (including private sector and/or non-profit entities). Special eligibility for costs related to privately-owned vehicles or fleets using alternative fuels is limited to the incremental cost of an alternative fueled vehicle compared to a conventionally fueled vehicle under the new TEA-21 provisions. In addition, TEA-21 allows up to 100 percent funding of transit vehicle priority control systems in addition to traffic signalization and carpool/vanpool programs.1
A $1 million study, commissioned under TEA-21 and performed by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on the cost-effectiveness of the CMAQ program, was completed in April 2002. The NAS report concluded that there was strong support for the CMAQ program among a broad range of regional transportation planners, operating agency staff, air quality officials, and interest groups consulted for the study. However, because of the limited methods for measuring project effects on outcomes and the localized character of the program, it was not possible to undertake a credible scientific quantitative evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of the program at the national level.
The following report summarizes data collected from all 50 States and the District of Columbia. FY 1998 was the last year Puerto Rico was included in this report. Changes in Congressional funding legislation mean that CMAQ apportionments will no longer be broken out separately from other categories of funding for Puerto Rico so that CMAQ projects and expenditures will no longer be tracked separately. General findings and conclusions based upon the review of the State-submitted data for FY 1999 are shown below.
The nationwide obligation rate of CMAQ funds rose to 75.5 percent, up from 59.9 percent in FY 1998. There was an increase in dollars obligated from $683 million to $1.14 billion, 67.5 percent, a level never before reached by the CMAQ program. This record level of obligations did not result in a higher obligation rate is due to the large increase in funds available for obligation under TEA-21.
The percentage of CMAQ funds obligated for transit was higher than that of any other category in FY 1999. The total CMAQ funds obligated toward transit accounted for 51.6 percent of the total amount of funds obligated nationwide, a 70 percent increase in CMAQ share from FY 1998 (from 30.1 percent to 51.6 percent). Traffic flow improvement projects were the second largest category at 23.3 percent, a 50 percent decrease in CMAQ share from FY 1998.
For all other CMAQ funding categories, funding levels increased showing an 80 percent increase in dollars obligated. Due to the large increase in transit obligations, the overall obligation shares for these categories decreased to 29.0 percent in FY 1999, compared to 34.8 percent in FY 1998. There were 15 experimental pilot projects reported in FY 1999, compared to two in the FY 1998 CMAQ annual report. In addition, the FY 1999 report include four public/private partnership projects. The FY 1999 report is the first to list projects under the public/private partnership category.
1 For additional guidance on eligible CMAQ projects, please refer to FHWA/FTA's "Guidance on the CMAQ Program Under the TEA-21", dated April 28, 1999.