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transportation reauthorization

Legislative Analysis: Climate Related Provisions of the Federal Transportation Reauthorization: MAP-21


The Georgetown Climate Center has produced a summary of the federal transportation reauthorization legislation, "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act" (MAP-21), which became law in July 2012.  This document identifies provisions of the Act that relate to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate change, and can be found in Center's legislative tracker along with summaries of other relevant climate, transportation, and adaptation bills recently introduced in Congress. 

Download the full summary by clicking on the link below:

 GCC MAP-21 Summary



  • How the New Flood Insurance Reauthorization and Reform Law Could Impact Adaptation Planning - The Georgetown Climate Center's Jessica Grannis released a summary and analysis of Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which includes several reforms that could assist state and local governments looking to implement policies to adapt to sea-level rise and other flood impacts from climate changes. The Act was signed into law and passed by the Congress as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4348) on June 29, 2012. 

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

View Legislation

Pub. L. No. 112-141; Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21)

Click here to download the full summary.

Short Summary:

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4348, “MAP-21”) authorizes $118 billion for surface transportation programs for 27 months, an extension of current aggregate funding levels through fiscal year (FY) 2014.

The bill makes significant changes to the legal framework that directs federal transportation funding, generally providing more flexibility to states and other recipients, while requiring the U.S. DOT, states, and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) to establish performance measures and targets to evaluate these investments. The additional flexibility also potentially weakens requirements and incentives for spending on sustainable transportation initiatives (for example by reducing dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and eliminating dedicated funding for repair), although it does not generally constrain such spending. This is the first significant change to that framework since the passage of Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in 2005.


MAP-21 authorizes $118 billion for surface transportation programs for 27 months, an extension of current aggregate funding levels (plus inflation) through fiscal year (FY) 2014. The bill maintains public transit’s current funding levels and dedicated share of gas tax revenues for this time period, but does not address long-term transportation financing. Funding comes primarily from highway trust fund receipts, but to maintain funding levels, the bill also requires an additional $21.2 billion in revenue transfers and offsets.

Core Programs:

MAP-21 restructures the overall federal-aid highway program around four “core” programs:

  • National Highway Performance Program, combining former Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System programs, and funding from the Highway Bridge Program;
  • Surface Transportation Program, combining the former Surface Transportation Program and elements of other eliminated SAFETEA-LU programs, including the Highway Bridge Program;
  • Highway Safety Improvement Program, maintained as under SAFETEA-LU; and
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ), maintained as under SAFETEA-LU.

Key Changes to the Federal Transportation Legal Framework:

  • Requires establishment of performance measures and targets. U.S. DOT is required to establish performance measures and minimum standards for the national highway performance program, the highway safety improvement program, CMAQ, and national interstate freight movement, within 18 months of enactment. Within one year of the final rule, states are required to set performance targets addressing the performance measures, and MPOs must set targets six months after state targets are established. The bill also establishes national transportation policy goals, including a goal of environmental sustainability. 
  • Requires states and MPOs to address performance measures in planning and project selection. Long-range plans are required to include performance targets, and transportation improvement programs (TIPs, used to select projects for funding) must discuss the anticipated effects of selected projects toward achieving the performance targets.
  • Expands TIFIA funding, eliminates competitive grantmaking process. Funding for the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) increases from $122 million to $750 million for FY 2013 and $1 billion for FY 2014; the application process changes from a competitive grant to a rolling application where credit-worthy projects will receive funding as long as it is available.
  • Consolidates bicycle and pedestrian funding with other non-highway programs. The Safe Routes to School, Transportation Enhancements, and Recreational Trails, which formerly received separate dedicated funding streams, are consolidated into a new Transportation Alternatives (TA) program (separate from the four core programs).
  • Creates new categorical NEPA exclusions and streamlines review. The bill excludes projects receiving limited federal assistance, multimodal projects, and projects within an existing right-of-way from federally-mandated environmental review. It authorizes property acquisition for a federally funded project prior to completion of environmental review, and allows for one-time programmatic reviews of issues commonly arising in environmental reviews.
  • Increases ability for states to use CMAQ and TA funds for other uses. States now have the ability to spend 50 percent of both CMAQ and TA funds for other uses, which had previously been capped at 10-20 percent for each program.
  • Electric vehicle charging and natural gas fueling stations are expressly authorized uses of funding under CMAQ, surface transportation, and highway safety programs.
  • Eliminates dedicated “fix-it-first” funding for highway/bridge maintenance and repair.
  • Expands use of alternative financing mechanisms and private-sector investment to supplement traditional highway and transit grant funding.
  • Reauthorizes and reforms the National Flood Insurance Program, restricting eligibility for subsidized premiums, modifying flood amp rules, and creating a new reserve fund.
  • Reauthorizes and reforms the Emergency Relief Fund by allowing the Secretary to fund projects to protect or maintain roadways. Also authorizes the Public Transportation Emergency Relief Program for projects that protect, repair, reconstruct, or replace equipment and facilities of a public transportation system that may be damaged by an emergency.

Click here to download the full summary.

» Introduced:


Previous Version:

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act  (S. 1813)

Georgetown analysis on the previous bill is at

Senate Passes Transportation Reauthorization


The U.S. Senate passed S. 1813, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), on March 14, 2012.   MAP-21 is a two-year transportation reauthorization bill with $109 billion in total funding. 

The Georgetown Climate Center has a prepared a summary of the bill, with particular focus on provisions that affect states.  To view the summary, click here.

The House must still take action on a bill, which may not happen until mid-April, according to a report in Politico on March 16. 

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