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Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality (CMAQ) Program

Program Purpose

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program is a federally-funded program of surface transportation improvements designed to improve air quality and mitigate congestion. Jointly administered by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the CMAQ program was created in 1991 and reauthorized most recently in 2012 under MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century). CMAQ funds are apportioned annually to each State according to the severity of its air quality problems.

The CMAQ program provides 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 traffic congestion and improve air quality for areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone, carbon monoxide levels or particulate matter (“nonattainment”areas) or have recently become compliant (“maintenance” areas). FHWA recently indicated that this general rule does not apply to alternative fuel infrastructure, such as electric vehicles and natural gas. Funds for alternative fuel infrastructure can be spent anywhere in the state.

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Project Eligibility Criteria

Except as noted above for Alternative Fuel infrastructure, all CMAQ projects must demonstrate the three primary elements of eligibility: 1) transportation identity; 2) emissions reduction and; 3) location in or benefitting a nonattainment or maintenance area. Generally, projects eligible under the CMAQ program prior to enactment of MAP-21 remain eligible with the new authorization. While project eligibilities are continued, there is some modification with new language placing considerable emphasis on select project types including electric and natural gas vehicle infrastructure and diesel retrofits.

As in past authorizations of the program, projects must be included in a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) transportation plan and transportation improvement program (TIP), or the current Statewide TIP in areas that are not part of an MPO. The MPO plans and programs must also have a transportation conformity determination in place, where applicable.

Eligible Activities Include:

  1. Acquisition of diesel retrofits, including tailpipe emissions control devices, and the provision of diesel-related outreach activities.
  2. Intermodal equipment and facility projects that target diesel freight emissions through direct exhaust control from vehicles or indirect emissions reductions through improvements in freight network logistics.
  3. Alternative fuel projects including participation in vehicle acquisitions, engine conversions, and refueling facilities.
  4. Establishment or operation of a traffic monitoring, management, and control facility, including the installation of advanced truck stop electrification systems.
  5. Projects that improve traffic flow, including efforts to provide signal systemization, construct HOV lanes, streamline intersections, add turning lanes, improve transportation systems management and operations that mitigate congestion and improve air quality, and implement ITS and other CMAQ-eligible projects, including efforts to improve incident and emergency response or improve mobility, such as through real time traffic, transit and multimodal traveler information.
  6. Projects or programs that shift travel demand to nonpeak hours or other transportation modes, increase vehicle occupancy rates, or otherwise reduce demand through initiatives, such as teleworking, ridesharing, pricing, and others.
  7. Transit investments, including transit vehicle acquisitions and construction of new facilities or improvements to facilities that increase transit capacity. The MAP21 provision on operating assistance (23 USC 149(m)) is being reviewed and guidance interpreting the provision.
  8. Non-recreational bicycle transportation and pedestrian improvements that provide a reduction in single-occupant vehicle travel.
  9. Vehicle inspection and maintenance programs.
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Compressed Natural Gas Grant Projects

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) did a Call for Projects for Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Infrastructure and awarded $4,000,000 in federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality Funds for clean technology in Oregon. The primary purpose of this funding is to reduce transportation-related emission reductions and to encourage the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel by supporting the installation of natural gas fueling stations. ODOT accepted proposals from public and private entities for funds available in Federal Fiscal Years 2014-2015. This was a one-time call for projects, specifically for the installation of natural gas fueling stations. The Director of ODOT will approve all expenditure of funds for the awarded projects.

How to apply:

Contract Examples:

Government Party
Private Party

These agreements are examples only. The Final agreements may vary depending on the type of project.

Monthly Report
Project Change Request


Frequently Asked Questions

Selected Projects List


Program Contact:

Pat Fisher
Program Manager

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Contact Information

Please contact us with any questions, issues or concerns:

Pat Fisher
Active Transportation Program Manager

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