Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds are Federal funds that were created to support transportation projects and related efforts that contribute air quality improvements and provide congestion relief.
The Clean Air Act requires that, in areas experiencing air quality problems, transportation planning be consistent with air quality goals. The Environmental Protection Agency establishes air quality standards for each state known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS.)
To help Ohio become compliant with the NAAQS, the state receives about $60 million annually in CMAQ funding. This funding goes towards programs that reduce ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
The Towpath Trail Extension Project has received $27,550,000 in CMAQ funding. $8.75M for Stage 1, $10.6M for Stage 3 and $8.2M for Stage 4.
The CMAQ program can pay up to 80% of total eligible project costs. The minimum local share is 20% and must be provided from local, state, or other non-federal sources.
The CMAQ program is jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration.
CMAQ Fact sheet- https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/map21/factsheets/cmaq.cfm
Read more about CMAQ funding from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency- http://www.noaca.org/index.aspx?page=4430