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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program

Fiscal year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Estimated funding* $2.309 B $2.360 B $2.405 B $2.449 B $2.499 B

*Calculated (sum of estimated individual State CMAQ apportionments)

Program purpose

The FAST Act continued the CMAQ program to provide a flexible funding source to State and local governments for transportation projects and programs to help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Funding is available to reduce congestion and improve air quality for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter (nonattainment areas) and for former nonattainment areas that are now in compliance (maintenance areas).

Statutory citation: FAST Act § 1114; 23 U.S.C. 149

Funding features

Type of budget authority
Contract authority from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund, subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

Apportionment of funds
As under MAP-21, the FAST Act directs FHWA to apportion funding as a lump sum for each State then divide that total among apportioned programs. Once each State’s combined total apportionment is calculated, funding is set-aside for the State’s CMAQ Program. (See “Apportionment” fact sheet for a description of this calculation)

Set-asides
The following amounts are to be set aside from a State’s CMAQ apportionment:

Transferability to Other Federal-aid Apportioned Programs
A State may transfer to the National Highway Performance Program, National Highway Freight Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, Transportation Alternatives, and Highway Safety Improvement Program up to 50% of CMAQ funds made available each fiscal year (excluding set-asides). [23 U.S.C. 126]

Federal share: In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 120. (See the “Federal Share” fact sheet for additional detail.)

Eligible activities

Funds may be used for a transportation project or program that is likely to contribute to the attainment or maintenance of a national ambient air quality standard, with a high level of effectiveness in reducing air pollution, and that is 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.

The FAST Act added eligibility for verified technologies for non-road vehicles and non-road engines that are used in port-related freight operations located in ozone, PM10, or PM2.5 nonattainment or maintenance areas funded in whole or in part under 23 U.S.C. or chapter 53 of 49 U.S.C. [23 U.S.C. 149(b)(8)(A)(ii)]

The Act also specifically makes eligible the  installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure communications equipment. [23 U.S.C. 149(b)(9)]

The FAST Act continues eligibility for electric vehicle and natural gas vehicle infrastructure and adds priority for infrastructure located on the corridors designated under 23 U.S.C. 151. [23 U.S.C. 149(c)(2)]

The FAST Act amended the eligible uses of CMAQ funds set aside for PM2.5 nonattainment and maintenance areas. PM2.5 set-aside funds may be used to reduce fine particulate matter emissions in a PM2.5 nonattainment or maintenance area, including–

Program features

The FAST Act continues existing program features and adds the new exemption described below.

Exemption from PM2.5 set-aside for States with low population density
The PM2.5 set-aside will not apply to a nonattainment or maintenance area in a State with low population density (80 or fewer persons per square mile of land area) if–

Page last modified on March 10, 2016.
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000