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Cass County Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Information

1. What are CMAQ funds? What can they be used for?

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds are federal funds that are distributed to counties that are either currently in non-attainment or were previously in non-attainment for certain air quality standards. Cass County receives funds because it was previously in non-attainment of air quality standards.

The CMAQ funds are intended for projects that help communities meet and maintain air quality standards by providing a demonstrated emissions benefit.

Typically, in Southwest Michigan, CMAQ funds have been used for public transit vehicle replacements, traffic signal replacements and upgrades to allow for interconnection, and non-motorized paths, although many more activities are eligible. A full list of eligible activities is available here . The ultimate determination of whether a project is eligible rests with MDOT’s CMAQ eligibility committee.

Keep in mind that for a road project, the road must be federal-aid eligible. See the map of federal-aid eligible roads here: http://mdotcf.state.mi.us/public/maps_nfc/pdf/NFC14_CASS.pdf. Rural minor collectors are NOT eligible for CMAQ funds. All other roads marked with thick, colored lines are eligible.

2. How much CMAQ funding is there?

Cass County is scheduled to receive $200,260 per year from 2017-2020. Some projects have already been programmed for 2017-2020, but there is funding available.  

3. Who can apply for CMAQ funding?

Any city, village, road commission or public transit agency within Cass County is eligible. Please note that townships CAN propose projects but CANNOT apply directly for funds. The Cass County Road Commission must be the project applicant for any project within a township, even if you (the township) are retaining a private consultant to do the engineering and design work.

4. Do I have to provide local matching funds to use the federal CMAQ funds?

For most projects now, federal funds will cover only 80% of the cost. Therefore, your agency will need to provide the other 20% of the cost in local match. There are some exceptions, however. Traffic signal projects are typically still funded with 100% federal funds. In many cases, it depends on very specific circumstances of your project. The ultimate determination rests with MDOT’s CMAQ eligibility committee. 

5. How do I apply for CMAQ funding?

You can propose a project at the meeting, and you do not need to have emissions worksheets completed at the time of the county meeting.  You should have a reasonable cost estimate for your project and how much you are requesting in CMAQ funds.

Please note that if you are planning a project on an MDOT route (i.e. M-62), you should be having a conversation with MDOT Southwest Region prior to the meeting about project feasibility.

The application process for CMAQ funds has changed. CMAQ eligibility applications must now be sent in using MDOT’s Grant System online. You will still need to go to MDOT’s CMAQ website to download and fill in the appropriate Adobe Emissions Forms: www.michigan.gov/cmaq. You will then attach the form to your online application. Here are instructions for logging in to Michigan’s grant system:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MDOT_GrantSystemLoginInstructions_505587_7.pdf

Once eligibility is determined, your project will be assigned an MDOT job number and you will be able to proceed with engineering, design, planning, and construction of the project.

Once your project is deemed eligible, we will also need your agency to provide a resolution of support committing to providing the local match in the fiscal year in which the project is scheduled to proceed. This ensures that funding is not lost to the whole county when a community’s budget does not allow for it to provide local match. Resolutions of support should be sent to the SWMPC.

Please contact Brandon Kovnat at kovnatb@swmpc.org or 269-925-1137 x1524 for any assistance you need with this process.

6. Is there a deadline for submittal?

Yes, all applications must be in through MDOT’s online system.

7. How often do county CMAQ meetings take place?

County CMAQ meetings take place once per year, although if there are changes to projects, there may be meetings more often. SWMPC monitors projects to make sure they are progressing through MDOT’s project planning and delivery process. 

This page last updated on 3/23/2018.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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