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U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration

Subject: INFORMATION: CMAQ Notice on High Speed Rail Eligibility

James M. Shrouds
Director, Office of Natural and Human Environment

The Attention of Division Planning and Air Quality Staff

Date: Date: January 18, 2002

Reply to:

On January 16, the Federal Register Notice regarding High Speed Rail Projects for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) was published. This notice announces FHWA's and FTA's final decision on CMAQ eligibility for projects outside nonattainment or maintenance areas.

This notice reviews the current policy, summarizes comments to the docket, and discusses the eligibility of High Speed Rail Projects and the use of CMAQ funding. The policy decision clarifies that:

  1. The current policy serves the needs of those projects that are eligible within the statutory authority of 23 U.S.C. 149. Specifically, high speed rail projects can be funded if they are located within, or in close proximity to nonattainment or maintenance areas, can demonstrate emission reduction primarily within the designated areas, and meet other criteria for CMAQ funding.
  2. There is no need to modify the policy at this time.
  3. The determination that proposals meet these criteria should be done through a collaborative process with State and local, and other officials, but the final decision of CMAQ eligibility rests with the FHWA, and FTA.

A copy of the federal register notice is attached. If you have any questions, please contact Daniel Wheeler ( of my staff at 202-366-2204, or Abbe Marner (, FTA, Office of Planning at 202-366-4317.

Updated: 6/28/2017
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