Porterville, California, is at the halfway point between Fresno and Bakersfield and located in the San Joaquin valley. This means, of course, it’s well over three hours away from San Francisco and Los Angeles. What’s notable about this smaller city is that despite being relatively far away from the state’s biggest cities, it’s one of the most polluted metropolitans in all of the United States. Pollution impacts the area so severely, in fact, community members fear for their health. Now, a Canadian electric bus manufacturer is hoping to help generate some much-needed clean air in Porterville.
GreenPower Motor Company started building a manufacturing plant in Porterville and has immediate plans to build a fleet of 10 zero-emission buses. According to the company’s press release, this “will likely create roughly 75 jobs right away.” Over the next decade, the new plant could create nearly 600 jobs related to construction, driving, and more.
Much of the San Joaquin valley suffers from very poor air quality. Sadly, that pollution has led to sickness and early deaths. For example, a number of workers noted that they struggle with throat problems in a feature from The Guardian last year. Where does it all come from? All of the farming, drilling, traffic from Interstate 5, and wind that blows into the area are the likely sources. Based on its layout, particles hover in the area to create hazy skies.