Georgia DOT is responsible for the administration of the CMAQ program in the State of Georgia. The CMAQ program is a federally funded program authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) as part of § 1114; 23 U.S.C. 149. Georgia is eligible to receive CMAQ funds due to violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and Particular Matter (PM) 2.5. GDOT is responsible for distributing the funds to the nonattainment MPOs through the CMAQ distribution formula, verifying projects selected meet the CMAQ requirements outlined in the Interim Program Guidance dated November 12, 2013, and submitting the CMAQ Report to FHWA on an annual basis.
The CMAQ Formula was developed in consultation with the nonattainment MPOs and approved by FHWA. First, 50% of Georgia’s CMAQ Apportionment which is not dedicated to the mandatory PM 2.5 set‐aside is transferred into Z240 funds. The CMAQ Formula is then broken into two categories: Statewide and MPOs. The Statewide funding is subtracted from the whole amount of apportioned CMAQ funds. The Statewide category includes the ongoing education under the Georgia Commute Options Program. The MPO category represents the majority of the funding and is available for CMAQ eligible projects within the MPO nonattainment areas. Please view the
Detailed CMAQ Distribution Formula outlining Georgia’s funding distribution process.
Due to the rigorous demands of delivering CMAQ projects and the challenges with delivering them on time, GDOT does not redistribute previous year funding back into the MPO portion of the distribution formula. As CMAQ apportionment levels grow and obligation authority goes unspent, GDOT will provide excess CMAQ funds from the previous year’s apportionment (and corresponding obligation authority) on a case‐by‐case basis to the MPOs.
To determine the amount of CMAQ available to Georgia, the Office of Planning works with GDOT’s Office of Finical Management (OFM) to develop an estimate of how much CMAQ will be distributed to GDOT by the end of the fiscal year. Past year distribution trends and new federal regulations are analyzed to develop the estimated Annual Apportionment amount used in Georgia’s CMAQ Funding Flowchart linked above.
FHWA CMAQ Formula Letter
The CMAQ Project Selection Process is incorporated into the affected Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) federally approved Planning Process. GDOT works with the nonattainment MPO to select projects that, at a minimum, meet the CMAQ requirements outlined in FHWA’s Interim Program Guidance document. GDOT and the MPO also weigh the merits and the benefits of the specific projects and how they fit into the MPO’s regional transportation and air quality planning. GDOT also allows the smaller nonattainment MPOs to build up their annual apportionments of CMAQ funding to fund larger projects, on a case by case basis. In the past, GDOT and the MPOs used a project
Cost Effectiveness Table and the project’s specific emissions reduction analysis to assist in selecting projects. The
Cost Effectiveness table was developed using Section 4. Project Analysis and Selection Practices that Support
Effectiveness of FHWA’s
SAFETEA‐LU Evaluation and Assessment Phase 1 document. The
Cost Effectiveness Table allowed us to normalize the cost of the projects and then rank the project by
cost effectiveness and air quality benefit. Moving forward, GDOT will continue to incorporate the CMAQ selection into the Planning Process and work with the MPOs to select projects that will have a positive impact on air quality and congestion. The positive impacts will be captured on future CMAQ Performance Management Measure Reports and the Annual CMAQ Reports submitted to FHWA.
In the Atlanta nonattainment area, GDOT works directly with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to administer the CMAQ project selection process. In coordination with GDOT, ARC has developed a competitive selection process with
Program Goals & Principles and Program Emphasis Areas that fit into the regions blueprint to meet the air quality and congestion reduction objectives. For more information on this process, please visit the
Atlanta Regional Commission Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
In 2013, ARC developed a new emissions calculator that replaced the previous project air quality analysis tool. The new calculator requires a broader spectrum of inputs including detailed project information from planning partners, data from ARC’s travel demand model and MOVES emission rates. ARC’s calculator allowed the region the better standardize the project selection process. For more information on the project selection process used in the Atlanta region, please visit the Project Funding Recommendations website.
In accordance with the CMAQ Program Guidance listed above, GDOT consults with the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Department of Natural Resources prior to selecting the final list of projects. GDOT and the MPO consider any comments received from the EPD when selecting the final list of projects to be recommended for funding. Once the “final” list of recommended projects has been selected, GDOT then reviews the list with FHWA’s Georgia Planning group to verify eligibility and to answer any questions they may have on specific projects. The eligible projects then move forward to be approved by the MPO Committees and start the programming process at GDOT.
The Office of Planning keeps checks on CMAQ projects throughout the programming and final implementation process. First, as part of Planning’s review of the Concept Report, staff verifies the project scope didn’t change significantly, the project has an emissions analysis and the project still meets the Federal CMAQ requirements. Then prior to the projects final authorization, GDOT’s OFM contacts Planning again to verify an emissions analysis has been completed for the CMAQ Report and to check for scope changes. This redundant system of checking the CMAQ projects for scope changes and emissions keeps the project scopes from significantly changing during the programming process.
Georgia DOT is making every effort to keep traffic moving smoothly in our state, but delays are inevitable. You can manage your commute and reduce the number of vehicles on our roadways by exploring alternatives to driving during peak traffic hours. There is no better time to try commute options that will make getting to and from work easier.
The following is a list of alternative commute options that can help reduce the amount of smog produced by vehicle emissions.
Transportation planning for areas designated as nonattainment for National Ambient Air Quality Standards NAAQS is accomplished by project assistance and funding from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets national air quality standards and monitors each state’s air quality index. Once an area has been designated as in violation of the legal level of a specific pollutant monitored by EPA, certain restrictions apply to transportation construction or project types. Compliance with conformity requirements is linked to transportation funding from the federal level.
View Transportation Conformity Guides
View Transportation Conformity Guides