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Section 15: Category 5 - Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement

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Description

This category is to address the attainment of a national ambient air quality standard in the non-attainment areas of the state which are currently Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Beaumont, and El Paso. Projects are for congestion mitigation and air quality improvement (CMAQ) in the non-attainment areas in the state.

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Restrictions

CMAQ projects are selected by the MPO in consultation with TxDOT and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Projects must have final approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) before letting.

Each CMAQ project is evaluated to quantify its air quality improvement benefits. Funds can not be used to add capacity for single occupancy vehicles.

All projects must be developed in accordance with applicable federal or state environmental requirements.

All projects must be designed, constructed, operated and maintained in accordance with state laws, regulations, directives; and safety, design, and construction standards as required by TEA-21.

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Allocation to District

Each non-attainment area receives an annual allocation to expend each year. Allocations are based on population and air quality non-attainment factors outlined in TEA-21.

The program is managed by the districts as a bank balance program with eligible projects developed by the districts on an as-needed basis. Projects can be canceled or changed as long as the program balance is not exceeded.

Additional programming authority has also been allocated to the districts for the development of plans, specifications, estimates, and right-of-way purchase. Funding of these projects can be made through upcoming (CMAQ) programs.

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Policy

Match for preliminary engineering, construction, and right-of-way purchase/utility adjustments will be in accordance with TxDOT's Policy for Matching Funds - Participation Ratios.

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