The 1998-2003 CMAQ program under the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) is a continuation of the innovative CMAQ program introduced under the ISTEA. The TEA-21 CMAQ program provides over $8.1 billion dollars in funds to State DOTs, MPOs, and transit agencies to invest in projects that reduce emissions from transportation-related sources. In TEA-21, the CMAQ program received approximately a 35 percent funding increase in basic authorization levels. Additional activities were made eligible for funding and the statutory formula for apportioning funds was redesigned to provide a more equitable distribution of funds.
The first six years of the CMAQ Program resulted in $4.6 billion (of $5.5 billion available after set-asides) of funding for activities that assisted communities in reducing transportation related emissions, reducing congestion, and increasing public dialogue concerning pollution and transportation choices. The TEA-21 was designed to build and expand upon this success with the continued support of transportation partners and concerned citizens.
There are a variety of activities eligible for CMAQ funding (See FHWA Final Guidance for the CMAQ Improvement Program, published in the Federal Register, Volume 65, Number 36, Page 9040, February 23, 2000). According to the FHWA Annual Reports FY 1992-1997, during the first six years of the CMAQ Program, transit activities received the majority of the funding (43%), followed by traffic flow improvements, such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (34%), while the remaining activities such as pedestrian and bicycle, shared ride, and travel demand management, used the remaining funds.
The TEA-21 CMAQ program is similar to its ISTEA predecessor, but it features greater program flexibility and several new program options (see TEA-21 CMAQ Highlights).
Federal allocation formulas were adjusted so that areas designated as submarginal and maintenance for ozone are now in the CMAQ apportionment formula, and there are new weighting factors for CO nonattainment areas.
CMAQ funding eligibility was expanded to include PM-10 nonattainment and maintenance areas.
Extreme low temperature cold start emissions control programs and magnetic levitation transportation technology deployment projects were made eligible for funds.
States were given more flexibility to develop CMAQ activities with non-governmental entities in order to attract private investment under public/private partnerships.
A portion of CMAQ funds may now be transferred to other programs such as Bridge, Maintenance, Surface Transportation Programs or National Highway System projects if the annual CMAQ appropriation exceeds $1.35 billion.
States with minimum apportionment CMAQ funds have more flexibility regarding the use of their funds; they may use a portion of the funds for Surface Transportation Program purposes
As with all Federal-aid programs, CMAQ authorized funds will be supplemented with "minimum guarantee" funds, assuring each State at least 90.5% of their trust fund revenues