Section 1113 Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) Questions & Answers
Question CM-1: Is the 100 percent or full Federal share for CMAQ projects still available?
Answer CM-1: Yes. It is available, but only for a short period. As part of the last temporary extension of SAFETEA-LU, the 100 percent Federal share flexibility for CMAQ projects remains available at the State's discretion until September 31, 2012. Starting on October 1, 2012, the CMAQ Federal share will generally be 80 percent of the total project cost, subject to the upward sliding scale adjustment for States containing public lands (See page 16 of Financing Federal-Aid Highways, FHWA- PL-07-017). Certain safety projects that include an air quality or congestion relief component, e.g. carpool/vanpool projects, as provided in 23 USC 120(c) may have a Federal share of 100 percent, but this provision is limited to 10 percent of the total funds apportioned to a State under 23 USC 104.
Question CM-2: Does MAP-21 remove the eligibility of any particular type of CMAQ project eligibility?
Answer CM-2: No. Generally, projects considered eligible under SAFETEA-LU remain so under MAP-21.
Question CM-3: MAP-21 includes a number of general projects as eligible for CMAQ. Are these considered automatically eligible without demonstrating the basic requirements of the program?
Answer CM-3: No. Generally, all CMAQ projects must demonstrate the three primary elements of eligibility: transportation identity, emissions reduction, and location in or benefitting a nonattainment or maintenance area. While some categories, such as carsharing, have been highlighted in the legislation, this does not create automatic eligibility.
Question CM-4: Are any new CMAQ-eligible projects under MAP21 also eligible for funding through other Federal-aid programs?
Answer CM-4: Yes. MAP-21 provides eligibility in Section 1108 under the Surface Transportation Program (STP) for electric vehicle and natural gas vehicle infrastructure in the context of certain parking facilities.
Question CM-5: How does the new CMAQ language on operating assistance change the program eligibilities?
Answer CM-5: The 23 USC 149(m) Operating Assistance language is being reviewed and an interpretation of this language will be issued in the future.
Question CM-6: If a State has no nonattainment or maintenance areas, is it able to invest its CMAQ money for STP eligible projects?
Answer CM-6: Yes. Under 23 USC 149(d), MAP-21 has a provision similar to the traditional handling of minimum apportionment States. States with no nonattainment or maintenance areas designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency will be able use their CMAQ apportionment for any project eligible for CMAQ or the STP.
Question CM-7: Has the apportionment factor formula been retained by MAP-21?
Answer CM-7: No. Unlike SAFETEA-LU, there is no longer a statutory distribution formula for CMAQ apportionment under MAP21. Starting October 1, 2012, States' CMAQ apportionments will be determined by their overall share of the program in prior years.
Question CM-8: Will my State lose CMAQ funding next fiscal year?
Answer CM-8: Under MAP-21, CMAQ apportionments will stay essentially the same as they were for Fiscal Year 2012 under the SAFETEA-LU extensions that expire on September 30, 2012. . Slight reductions in CMAQ apportionments are possible.
Question CM-9: Will transfers of CMAQ to other Federal-aid programs still be restricted by a special statutory formula?
Answer CM-9: No. The transfer provisions of 23 USC 126 have been restructured considerably. MAP-21 sets the overall Federal-aid transfer limitation for any program, including the CMAQ program, to 50 percent. Previous restrictions in the CMAQ formula which resulted in transfer limitations of approximately 20-25 percent of the program each year have been eliminated. Exercising this transfer authority could impact traffic congestion and on-road mobile source emissions, the progress of which will be reported once performance measures are established under 23 U.S.C. 150.
Question CM-10: Does FHWA have the ability to transfer funds to FTA for CMAQ -eligible projects?
Answer CM-10: Yes. If a transit project eligible under CMAQ is selected, funds for such project may be transferred to FTA to administer the project in accordance with chapter 53 of title 49. [23 U.S.C. 104(f)]. This transfer is independent of the provisions outlined in CM-9, covering 23 U.S.C. 126.
Question CM-11: Will the 25 percent requirement for investments in projects that reduce fine particulate matter (PM2.5) be applied exclusively to PM2.5 nonattainment or maintenance areas?
Answer CM-11: The interpretation of this provision is under review and a process for determining the appropriate investment requirements will be identified.
Question CM-12: Will annual reports covering the State's CMAQ program remain a requirement?
Answer CM-12: Yes. The requirements for maintaining the CMAQ database have been strengthened in MAP-21.
Question CM-13: How will the requirement for a CMAQ performance plan be implemented?
Answer CM-13: The CMAQ performance measures and standards outlined in 23 U.S.C. 150(c) will be implemented through regulation along with the other performance measures required under that section. DOT will solicit comments through that process. Further information is forthcoming.