The CMAQ program provides funding for transportation projects and programs that help meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Eligible activities include transit improvements, travel demand management strategies, traffic flow improvements, public fleet conversions to cleaner fuels, projects to improve incident and emergency response or improve mobility, expanded authority for transit operations, and support for installation of facilities serving electric or natural gas fueled vehicles (not at rest areas). CMAQ funds are directed toward projects, programs, and operational strategies that provide residents with transportation options, to make the most effective use of existing facilities, and lead to lower pollution levels.
WSDOT allocates (pdf 45 kb) CMAQ funds to the five MPO’s representing maintenance areas. These are the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC), Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC), Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) and Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC). MAP-21 has a set-aside specifically for MPO’s designated as nonattainment or maintenance areas for PM2.5 that are used to address PM2.5 emissions. PSRC is expected to be designated in 2013. The MPOs are responsible for prioritizing and selecting projects that align with their regional priorities involving all entities eligible to participate in a public process. In addition, WSDOT sets delivery targets (pdf 71 kb) for each MPO.
MAP-21 requires that performance measures be established by USDOT for states to use to assess traffic congestion and on-road mobile source emissions and establish targets to address the performance measures which will be set by the state. In addition, PSRC is a Transportation Management Area with over 1 million people and is therefore required to develop and update biennially a performance plan to achieve air quality and congestion reduction targets.
The CMAQ program requires annual reporting of CMAQ obligations, deobligations, emissions benefits and disbenefits. These yearly reports provide FHWA with information on CMAQ investments, trends within the program and other information focusing on the program’s performance.
WSDOT provides a listing of applicable projects that must be reported on in early December to the Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Reports are due to WSDOT early January. WSDOT is required to input the final report into FHWA’s web-based CMAQ Tracking System in early February.
For details specific to your area, contact your MPO/RTPO/County (pdf 107 kb) lead agency. Further details on the CMAQ program are available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/and program guidance is available at: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/cmaq08gd.pdf