In approximately 2005, the City of Porterville became aware that it would be required to meet the California Air Resources Board regulations for air emission reductions for its public transit fleet. With requirements following shortly thereafter for Public Works vehicles, Transit and Public Works began researching the best approach for the City to take to meet those regulations, so all City vehicles would be compatible in their fueling and maintenance requirements.
After 18 months of research, the decision was made to begin converting vehicles to CNG fuel. The City's transit fleet became the test case since it was required to attain a 40% reduction of particulate matter (PM) and NOx emissions by December 31, 2007. The City obtained grant funding for the purchase of four CNG transit buses, and concurrently Public Works began exploring the possibility of funding the construction of a City CNG Fueling Station to meet its future needs. With the purchase of the four CNG buses and conversion of four diesels with particulate filters, the transit fleet met that first 40% reduction by December 31, 2007. A second set of regulations are slated for December 31, 2010, requiring an 80% total reduction. Through Federal Transit Administration grant funding, Prop 1B funding, and ARRA funds, the City has ordered another five CNG transit buses, all due to arrive by October, 2010. The transit fleet will then be 100% compliant with all California Air Resources Board requirements, well ahead of the December 31, 2010 deadline.
This new CNG facility is a culmination of four years of planning, grant funding efforts, and staff collaboration, and is a welcome addition for the City of Porterville.
The City of Porterville's fast fill CNG fueling facility is located within the existing recycle drop off center on Prospect Street at the City Corporation Yard. The CNG fueling pump has two nozzles that can be utilized simultaneously. The facility accepts Visa and MasterCard only. CNG is a cleaner burning and more economical alternative than fossil fuels. The City encourages the use of this new "green" alternative fuel and looks forward to partnering with other agencies to provide this fueling alternative as needs arise.