Filing Date:

Varies; contact your state DOT or Metropolitan Planning Organization for more information.


Communities, private entities, or public-private partnerships. Most states have geographic zones upon which funds are focused; contact your state DOT or regional FTA office to learn about your status.


The objective of the CMAQ program is to improve the nation’s air quality and manage traffic congestion. Funding is focused on areas whose air quality does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, or particulate matter (non-attainment areas) and for former non-attainment areas that are now in compliance (maintenance areas).

Funds may be used for transportation projects 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. Eligible projects should be 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.

Eligible activities include projects that shift traffic demand to non-peak hours or other transportation modes, increase vehicle occupancy rates, or otherwise reduce demand.

A state without a non-attainment or maintenance area may use its CMAQ funds for any project eligible under CMAQ or the Surface Transportation Program (STP). A state with a non-attainment or maintenance area that received a minimum apportionment in FY 2009 may use part of its current CMAQ funds for any STP-eligible project.

CMAQ funds may also be transferred to the FTA for use in transit projects. When this occurs, the funds are placed into Section 5307 or 5311 programs where they are administered according to the guidelines particular to those programs.

For example, the rehabilitation of the Amtrak station in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was supported by $9.6 million in CMAQ funds. An intercity passenger rail station was built in Exeter, New Hampshire, with $1.1 million in CMAQ funds obtained between 1998 and 2001. In addition to the passenger shelter, platform and lighting, there is paved parking for 70 cars.

Grants through CMAQ are probably best pursued by communities where the station is an intermodal center and upgrades to the facility are projected to produce increased ridership and a corresponding reduction in automobile travel.


Distribution of funds to local governments and organizations generally follows the model of 80 percent federal share, 20 percent local. Once each state’s combined total apportionment is calculated, an amount is set aside for the state’s CMAQ program via a calculation based on the relative size of the state’s FY 2009 CMAQ apportionment.


$2.3 billion (FY 2016)
$2.4 billion (FY 2017)
$2.4 billion (FY 2018)
$2.4 billion (FY 2019)
$2.5 billion (FY 2020)

Additional Information:

Federal Highway Administration – Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program