Under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program, is one in which FHWA distributes funds to States to assist in projects and programs that help to reduce vehicle-related emissions in nonattainment or maintenance areas1. Many types of projects can be considered for CMAQ funding including traffic signal synchronization, ride-sharing programs, and diesel retrofit projects. To obtain CMAQ funds, States must submit an analysis describing the air quality improvement benefits that the project or program will achieve. Analyses submitted in the past to justify a particular project or program have varied widely from a simple qualitative description of the estimated emission reduction benefit to more complex project-specific quantitative analyses. As the time and cost for conducting such analyses can be significant, state DOTs and other project sponsors would benefit from simplified procedures, including the use of lookup tables for typical project types, that would significantly reduce the time and cost for analyses for state DOTs while also serving to improve the consistency and accuracy of the estimated emission reductions for FHWA. For example, in its simplest form, tables of estimated emission reductions by project type and year could be developed. Then, in lieu of project-specific modeling, the state DOT or other project sponsor would only need to look up the estimated emission reduction in the table for the given project type and year and reference the lookup table as the source.
For reference, the new programmatic eligibility option provided in MAP-21 and specified by FHWA in CMAQ guidance may be one option for implementing the proposed new lookup tables.
The objective of this research is to streamline the determination of emission reductions for CMAQ projects through the development and implementation of lookup tables and otherwise simplified procedures that would serve to reduce the time and cost to state DOTs and other project sponsors for such analyses while improving the accuracy, quality control, and utility of the estimated emission reductions to FHWA develop a report comprised of (1) lookup tables and (2) simplified procedures to determine emission reductions for CMAQ projects.