South Jersey Transportation Planning Organization

Carbon Reduction Program (CRP)

The Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) was enacted as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to provide funding for projects that reduce transportation emissions from on-road highway sources through carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction strategies and by funding projects designed to reduce transportation emissions.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides guidance to apportion funding among the individual programs within each state. These funds will be available for projects and programs in sub-allocated urbanized areas within SJTPO via a competitive process.

Applications currently not being accepted.

Program Overview

The Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) funds are available for projects that involve government, non-profit, and private entities that serve the SJTPO region. Public agencies must be certified as eligible to receive federal funds through the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT). The funding is to be obligated to areas in proportion to the share of New Jersey’s population. For SJTPO, the suballocation of funding is divided into three urbanized areas, including the Atlantic City urbanized area, as well as the Villas and Vineland areas. The Carbon Reduction Program was established pursuant to Section 11403 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Under the guidance of the Metropolitan Planning Organizations, local projects will be developed that will reduce carbon emissions. Private individuals are not eligible to apply.

SJTPO solicits projects every three years to support regional goals, which are specified through this improvement program as a reduction of transportation emissions and an improvement of air quality. The Project Evaluation Form provides guidance on how projects are screened for eligibility and implementation.  The current solicitation period supports projects that will be implemented over three Federal Fiscal Years (FFY), including 2025, 2026, and 2027. The solicitation period began April 2023, and applications were due in August 2023.

The Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) has been combined with the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program beginning FFY 2023. Applicants do not need to specify for which funding program they are requesting consideration. A single Project Application is applicable for the joint solicitation. Although eligible projects and activities are substantially similar between the two programs, please review the differences through the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) CMAQ Reference or as listed below.

The Application Process

SJTPO solicits projects for a three-year period. The recent application period, which closed in November 2023, was for project advancement in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2025, 2026, and 2027. The dates below reference the recent application period and will be updated during the next application period.

  • April 12, 2023: Notification of Call for CMAQ & CRP projects
  • June 27, 2023: Last Day to Request Assistance for Required Emissions Analysis
  • August 2, 2023: Last Day to Request a Meeting with SJTPO Staff
  • August 16, 2023: Applications Due with All Materials
  • November 2023: Recommendation of new CMAQ & CRP Projects

SJTPO CMAQ & CRP Project Selection Process

Following the application deadline, applications will be selected via a competitive process. The steps in the selection process are as follows:

  1. SJTPO staff reviews applications for clarity, completeness, and eligibility.
  2. Applications are evaluated & ranked by the CMAQ & CRP Selection Committee established by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) based upon the following goals:
    Carbon Dioxide Emission Reduction
    Air Quality Benefit
    Environmental Screening
    Preferred Project Type
    Deliverability
  3. The CMAQ & CRP Selection Committee will forward the recommended Project List to the SJTPO Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which then prepares a recommended program for the SJTPO Policy Board.
  4. The SJTPO Policy Board acts upon the TAC-endorsed CMAQ & CRP project list.

After final approval and notification of the CMAQ or CRP award, the sponsor is responsible for implementing and completing the project. This includes any public involvement, planning, design, construction, etc. All project phases are eligible for CMAQ or CRP funds, and costs are 100% reimbursable. Projects not implemented in a timely manner run the risk of losing funds. In the case of an uncompleted project, the return of any federal funds expended might be required.

Application Requirements

Proposals for CMAQ or CRP funding should include a precise description of the project, providing information on its size, scope, location, and timetable. The description should be as specific as possible; this may include citing the location and timing of traffic counts or submission dates for required products of the federal aid program. In addition to this, supporting data, submission schedule, cost estimate for each phase of work, and any preliminary work, such as conceptual design or planning, that has been completed should be included in the application. Applicants should also certify their familiarity with the NJDOT Local Aid process and describe previous experience obtaining NJDOT funding. A resolution of support is required by the NJDOT for a proposed project to be eligible for consideration. The proposed project objective should be included in the Resolution of Support. Include project details such as specific improvements (i.e., vehicle purchase and signal or infrastructure enhancements) and location. An example of a Resolution of Support may be provided upon request. In addition to this, other supporting materials such as concept sketches, letters of support, and maps showing environmental features may be accepted to support the project. The required materials to be submitted alongside the application are as follows.

  • Emissions Analysis
  • Line-Item Cost Estimate
  • Detailed Project Schedule
  • Map of Project Location
  • Resolution of Support

Emissions Analysis

An assessment of the project’s expected emission reduction benefits should be completed prior to project selection to better inform the selection of CMAQ or CRP projects. Wherever possible, quantitative analyses of emissions impacts should be included in the proposal. The analysis should report, at minimum, the reduction in ozone precursors (NOx and VOC) in kilograms per day or per year, along with the expected lifespan of the emission reduction. Additional pollutants, including carbon monoxide or particulate matter, may be reported as well. Qualitative assessments of emission benefits may be provided only when it is not possible to accurately quantify emission benefits; for example, for projects focused on public education, marketing, and other outreach efforts. Groups of complimentary projects may be analyzed together. Emission increases for any type of pollutant (including carbon monoxide or particulate matter) must be reported if present. Details regarding emissions estimation may be found in Section VIII.A of the FHWA CMAQ Guidance.

SJTPO may assist applicants in calculating emissions reduction estimates for many types of projects.

Eligible Projects

A project is eligible for Carbon Reduction Program (CRP) funding by the National Environmental Policy Act if it intends to reduce carbon emissions on or off a roadway in the region. This may include zero-emissions vehicles, charging stations, congestion pricing, traffic monitoring, management, or control facilities or program, energy-efficient alternative street lighting, and efforts to reduce the environmental and community impacts of freight movement and port authorities. The CRP funding can also be used on public transportation projects, such as the expansion of a roadway to include a dedicated bus lane or bus rapid transit corridor, or on transportation alternative infrastructure, such as the planning, design, and construction of a non-motorized form of transportation including pedestrian sidewalks, bike lanes, trails, or micro-mobility project including bike shares. Other uses include supporting alternative fuel vehicles such as electric vehicles, hydrogen, natural gas, or propane; this could comprise of purchasing the vehicles or the construction of equipment to power and provide maintenance. A proposed project should include the emission benefits; however, innovative projects without specified supporting emissions benefits may also be considered. CMAQ or CRP-funded projects should have independent utility; that is, they must have standalone emissions benefits that do not depend upon other uncompleted projects.

Transit Infrastructure

A project described in 23 U.S.C. 149(b)(4) to establish or operate a traffic monitoring, management, and control facility or program, including advanced truck stop electrification systems. A project described in 23 U.S.C. 503(c)(4)(E) for advanced transportation and congestion management technologies.

Transit Improvements

A public transportation project is eligible under 23 U.S.C. 142.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities and Programs

A transportation alternative (as defined under the Moving Ahead for Progress under the 21st Century Act [23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29), as in effect on July 5, 2012]), including, but not limited to, the construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation.

Congestion Reduction & Traffic Flow Improvements

A project or strategy designed to support congestion pricing, shifting transportation demand to nonpeak hours or other transportation modes, increasing vehicle occupancy rates, or otherwise reducing demand for roads, including electronic toll collection and travel demand management strategies and programs. As well as certain types of projects to improve traffic flow that are eligible under the CMAQ program and that do not involve the construction of new capacity; [§ 11403; 23 U.S.C. 149(b)(5); and 175(c)(1)(L)].

Intelligent Transportation Systems

The deployment of infrastructure-based intelligent transportation systems capital improvements and the installation of vehicle-to-infrastructure communications equipment.

Energy Efficient Alternatives

A project to replace street lighting and traffic control devices with energy-efficient alternatives. The development of a carbon reduction strategy developed by a State per requirements in 23 U.S.C. 175(d).

Freight/Intermodal

Efforts to reduce the environmental and community impacts of freight movement.

Alternative Fuels and Vehicles

  1. Infrastructure – A project that supports the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, including acquisition, installation, or operation of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure or hydrogen, natural gas, or propane vehicle fueling infrastructure, and purchase or lease of zero-emission construction equipment, including the acquisition, construction, or leasing of required supporting facilities.
  2. Non-transit Vehicles – A project that supports the purchase or lease of zero-emission vehicles.
  3. Port Electrification – A project that reduces transportation emissions at port facilities, including through the advancement of port electrification.

Diesel Engine Retrofits & Other Advanced Truck Technologies

A project described in 23 U.S.C. 149(b)(8) for a diesel engine retrofit.

For vehicle acquisitions, only the incremental cost of the difference in price between the alternative-fueled vehicle and a comparable conventional fuel vehicle will be covered. The estimated eligible portion of future vehicle purchases must be prorated based on the projected share of costs attributable to generating air quality benefits. CMAQ or CRP-funded projects should have independent utility; that is, they must have standalone emissions benefits that do not depend upon other uncompleted projects.

As under the FAST Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), directs MPOs to give priority to cost-effective projects; that is, projects with the greatest emissions reduction per dollar funded. Secondary benefits may also be considered in the selection process, but the primary criteria will be the unit cost of the emissions reduction. Secondary selection factors include congestion relief, greenhouse gas reductions, safety, system preservation, access to opportunity, sustainable development and freight, reduced single-occupancy vehicle reliance, multimodal benefits, and others. For more information on how projects are evaluated, please see the Project Evaluation Form used by the CMAQ & CRP Project Selection Committee. For technical assistance in planning, design, construction, preserving, and improving public roads, and guidance of Federal funds, please see the BIL FHWA Technical Assistance & Local Support.