Information Center

FAQs

What is the MSRC?

The MSRC is the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, established under state law (AB 2766) whose sole mission is to fund projects that reduce air pollution from motor vehicles within the South Coast Air District in Southern California. The South Coast Air District is a geographic region defined in state regulations to include all of Orange County and portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
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Who serves on the MSRC?

The membership of the eight-member MSRC was established through state legislation (AB 2766) and includes a representative from:
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD)
  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)
  • San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
  • Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC)
  • California Air Resources Board (CARB)
  • a regional ridesharing agency nominated by the other MSRC members, the region is currently is represented by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

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What is TAC?

The TAC is a 20-member technical advisory committee authorized by AB 2766 to provide technical assistance to the MSRC. For example, the TAC assesses which projects are funded as part of the MSRC’s annual Work Program, helps MSRC staff with program oversight, and works with members of the public.
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Is the MSRC part of the SCAQMD?

While the MSRC is not part of the SCAQMD, it has a unique relationship with the air district. The SCAQMD is one of eight member agencies of the MSRC, and by statute (AB 2766), the SCAQMD Governing Board is required to review and approve the MSRC’s annual Work Program in its entirety. The MSRC staff are located at the SCAQMD headquarters in Diamond Bar, and the monthly MSRC and MSRC-TAC meetings are held at the SCAQMD. Since the MSRC is a multi-agency committee, the SCAQMD also acts on the MSRC’s behalf as its contracting and legal agent.
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Where does the MSRC get its funding?

The MSRC was created in 1990 by the California State Legislature as part of AB 2766 that authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect a $4 surcharge on vehicle registration fees. Under AB 2766, 30% of the $4 is part of a "discretionary" fund overseen by the MSRC, 30% is distributed to the SCAQMD for activities necessary to reach the state’s clean air goals, and 40% is distributed to local cities and counties in the South Coast Air District to be used for clean air projects.
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How much funding does the MSRC receive each year?

With more than 13 million vehicles registered within the South Coast Air District, the MSRC’s portion of funds from the annual $4 DMV surcharge is approximately $14 million each year.
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What is the relationship of the MSRC to the Carl Moyer Program? Can I submit the same project for bo

These are two separate programs. The MSRC funds a variety of projects to reduce emissions from many types of motor vehicles. The Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program (Carl Moyer Program) was initiated in 1998 to reduce emissions from heavy-duty, diesel-powered mobile sources (which may include non-vehicular mobile sources). The South Coast Air Quality Management District administers the Carl Moyer Program in the South Coast Air District. An applicant may submit the same project for funding under the Carl Moyer Program and the MSRC Work Program, but should be aware that the two programs may have different funding requirements. Generally, any given project can receive funding from only one of the programs. More information about the Carl Moyer Program can be found at www.aqmd.gov.
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What is the MSRC Work Program?

The category of projects the MSRC ultimately funds makes up the Work Program. These projects, by statute, consist of: transportation control measures, transportation demand management programs, clean fuel and clean vehicle programs, research and monitoring programs, projects that comply with the federal Clean Air Act and the California Clean Air Act, or projects that result in direct and tangible reductions in vehicular air pollution. Each year the MSRC reviews and evaluates past Work Programs. After a thorough review involving public input and discussion, the MSRC develops categories and funding targets for these select categories.
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What types of projects have been funded in the past?

The MSRC funds projects that result in direct and tangible reductions in air pollution from motor vehicles. The discretionary funds can also be used for related planning, monitoring, enforcement and technical studies. Historically, project categories have included:
  • Clean fuel vehicles and infrastructure programs such as alternative fuel stations, maintenance facilities and driver and mechanic training;
  • Trip reduction and commuter assistance campaigns such as ridesharing programs, telecommuting and videoconferencing, major event center transportation services, parking management, freeway service patrols and traffic signal synchronization;
  • On-board diagnostic systems that monitor vehicle emissions;
  • Research and development of new clean air technologies, such as development of alternative fuel vehicles and vehicle retrofit technologies. The MSRC was the first organization in the country to provide public funding to support the development of heavy duty hybrid electric vehicles; and
  • Educational projects such as programs designed to teach students and others about opportunities to reduce transportation-related air pollution.
Over the years, the MSRC has refined the funding process to focus on projects that reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.
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Who is eligible to apply for funding?

Anyone proposing a project that meets the criteria outlined by the MSRC in the funding category is encouraged to apply. Local governments, government agencies, private-sector businesses and research institutions are among those who typically apply for funding. Those applying must be prepared to commit to implement the project and provide co-funding by entering into a contract with the SCAQMD (on the MSRC’s behalf).
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What types of projects are “motor vehicle” emissions reduction projects?

The definition of a motor vehicle includes passenger automobiles, trucks, buses, street sweepers, refuse haulers, tractors, earthmovers and motorcycles. The MSRC focuses on programs that reduce travel or emissions from these classes of vehicles. Projects not classified as motor vehicles are not funded by the MSRC and include projects with locomotives, aircraft, marine vessels and pleasure craft, cranes and lawnmowers.
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How can I be notified of upcoming funding opportunities?

You can add your name and address to our mailing list by clicking on the “Join the Mailing List” link at the bottom of the navigation bar. Once your are on our mailing list you will be notified by electronic mail of upcoming funding opportunities. You can also contact MSRC staff if you have further questions.
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How do proposals get approved for funding?

Typically, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are released for each program category. Once proposals are received, they are evaluated by the TAC according to the criteria in the respective solicitation. The MSRC reviews the recommendations and approves funding for projects for the final Work Program. The final Work Program is sent to the SCAQMD Governing Board for final approval, as required by statute. Once approved, the MSRC staff begins the contracting process.
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Where can I get help in preparing my proposal?

The MSRC employs three contracts administration staff members, as well as a Technical Advisor to answer questions about the solicitations and provide general guidance on how to prepare your proposal. The MSRC staff cannot help you write your proposal, but will answer any questions about the solicitations that you may have.
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What are elements of a good proposal?

Each of the RFPs outlines the evaluation criteria and defines what is expected from a responsive, competitive proposal for that category. Key elements to good proposals include: significant, quantifiable air pollution reductions; cost-effective emission reductions (usually less than $20,000 per ton of pollution reduced), and significant, verified co-funding at the time the proposal is submitted. In addition, the MSRC is very strict about its formatting guidelines and requirements. If a proposal does not meet the formatting requirements, or is submitted late (usually after 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date), it will not be considered. Proposals submitted via FAX or email will not be considered; however, select MSRC solicitations require online proposal/application submissions.
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How can I obtain copies or summaries of past MSRC proposals?

Synopses of completed projects funded by the MSRC are available in the library section of this website. If you are interested in a copy of a successful proposal, or any materials generated by a MSRC-funded project, you must fill out a public information request form for copies of the requested materials. There is a fee for the reproduction of this material. Additional information regarding this process may be accessed on the Public Records Act Request page of SCAQMD's website.
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Does the MSRC accept unsolicited proposals?

The MSRC does not accept or consider funding for unsolicited proposals, but may consider those ideas as it develops its Work Program categories for the next fiscal year during the annual Work Program review process (typically during the fall).
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Does the MSRC fund marketing programs or public awareness campaigns?

Historically, the MSRC has focused on funding projects with near-term emission reductions. However, investments have also been made in longer-term air pollution reduction projects or projects where the emissions reductions are not easily quantified. For example, the MSRC has recently provided funding for regional outreach campaigns to promote Rideshare Thursday and the 511 travel assistance program. The MSRC has also funded student education programs and planning projects.
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Does the MSRC require a match or co-funding?

Most of the MSRC’s solicitations require the proposer to contribute their own funding to match the MSRC funds. This is typically referred to as a match requirement, or co-funding. For example, there may be a 40% minimum match requirement for a ridesharing project. If the total cost of the project is $100,000, the proposer must provide at least $40,000 in other funds, with a maximum MSRC funding request of $60,000. Each solicitation or RFP will identify the specific match requirements for that program.
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What type of funding is available for alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure?

The MSRC generally has programs to help pay for the higher cost of alternative fuel vehicles. In the past, the MSRC has provided co-funding to pay for the higher incremental cost of clean fuel transit buses, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as fueling infrastructure. Please contact the MSRC for more information on these programs, or go to the Proposal Process page for information on current opportunities.
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If my proposal is awarded funding, how soon will I be able to receive the MSRC funds?

Once the SCAQMD Governing Board approves the MSRC’s Work Program, the minimum wait until a contract is executed is about two months, though this depends upon the complexity of the contract. MSRC staff will draft a contract and work with you to finalize any needed details. Some MSRC solicitations also include sample boilerplate contract language for your review prior to contract award. Contracts typically need to be signed and approved within six months of receipt of a draft contract from MSRC staff. If a contract is not signed and approved by both you and the SCAQMD on behalf of the MSRC, the contract is not executed and your project does not get funded.
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My project was selected for funding; can I start my project now?

Contractors generally should not begin work on their projects until the contract has been fully executed. If you do begin your project, you do so at your own risk.
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Once a contract is signed with the MSRC, how is funding allocated?

MSRC funds are allotted on a reimbursement basis only. You are reimbursed once you expend the funds and once the receipts for those expenses are submitted in the required MSRC format. In many cases, no reimbursement may occur until the project is substantially complete--for example, a new alternative fuel station must be fully operational prior to payment. This will all be spelled out in your contract with the MSRC. The MSRC also employs a 10% withhold on every invoice, which is only paid upon successful completion of your project.
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What impact are the MSRC’s programs having on cleaning the air?

Since 1991, the MSRC has awarded more than $300 million. The MSRC’s projects have also been matched by billions of dollars in additional private and public co-funding. To date, the MSRC’s programs have reduced as much as 8,000 tons of pollution from our air and are a key component in the region’s quest to achieve federal and state clean air standards.
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