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Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Program

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement, or CMAQ, program is a federally-funded program for surface transportation improvements designed to improve air quality and mitigate congestion. CMAQ funds are apportioned annually to each State according to the severity of its air quality problems. The program is jointly administered by Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.

CMAQ Program Update

The Oregon Department of Transportation has convened a program advisory committee to develop recommendations on program design and funding allocation.

CMAQ Program Advisory Committee

In 2019, the Oregon Department of Transportation updated its CMAQ Guidelines based on the recommendations of the CMAQ Program Advisory Committee.

Project Eligibility Criteria

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 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.

Except as noted above for Alternative Fuel infrastructure, all CMAQ projects must demonstrate the three primary elements of eligibility:

  1. Transportation project;
  2. Emissions reduction and;
  3. Located in or benefitting a nonattainment or maintenance area.

Generally, projects eligible under the CMAQ program prior to enactment of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Centry, or 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, or MPO, transportation plan and transportation improvement program, or the current Statewide Trasnportation Improvement Program 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.


 Alan Thompson
Investment Program Manager

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