County partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona Creek

first_imgHomeNewsEnvironmentCounty partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona Creek Nov. 16, 2019 at 11:00 amEnvironmentFeaturedNewsCounty partners with international nonprofit to place solar-powered trash harvesting device in Ballona CreekBrennon Dixson2 years agoNo tags1234567 As it weaves and winds through the concrete jungle of western Los Angeles County, the Ballona Creek flood channel collects many types of pollutants, including trash, oil, pesticides and industrial chemicals.It’s not unheard of for one to find a shopping cart dumped in the creek, according to the Ballona Creek Renaissance — an organization of volunteers who have hand-collected more than 1.3 tons of trash in the river since its founding.Ideally, there would be no garbage finding its way into Ballona Creek, “but too often we do have trash,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said Friday, mentioning Ballona Creek used to be one of 1,000 waterways worldwide that were responsible for 80 percent of the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.This has become a major challenge for local county officials, but Hahn believes a new trash harvesting device created by international nonprofit The Ocean Cleanup may be the answer to the problem.The device is called the InterceptorTM, and Joost Dubois, The Ocean Cleanup’s head of communications, said during Friday’s press conference that the solar-powered trash removal system will use a conveyor belt to extract harmful debris from waterways and complement the trash collecting mechanisms that are already in place throughout the county.“Rivers are one of the biggest contributors to ocean plastics. They are the arteries that carry the plastic to the sea,” Dubois said. But after years of research, The Ocean Cleanup has developed the world’s first fully autonomous scalable solution for tackling river pollution, “and like our ocean cleanup technology, it utilizes natural forces like solar power and river currents to operate.”Ballona Creek’s system will be the first deployed in the Americas or Canada and the sixth one worldwide if the targeted fall 2020 deployment date is met. Officials said they will design it to specifically meet the unique conditions of Ballona Creek.An unnamed beneficiary contributed the funds to make the project possible, according to Dubois, but The Ocean Cleanup will be responsible for manufacturing, assembling and installing the system while LA County’s Public Works department will be responsible for operations, including the collection and recycling of waste.“This interceptor is part of a pilot program,” Dubois said, which will cover two storm seasons and allow both the county and nonprofit the opportunity to test the InterceptorTM’s technology and its capacity for the environmental conditions that are present in the local river.“What we hope to have happen is that we look at it and see that it works here,” said Mark Pestrella, director of Los Angeles County Public Works. Depending on the results, the county could receive the device for free and also may consider installing a similar system in the Los Angeles River.While seals below the beach house barked and “cheered them on”, Hahn, Dubois, Pestrella and Roald Lapperre, the Netherlands’ vice-minister for the Environment, posed for pictures while they signed the documents necessary to put their plan in action.“The buildup of plastics in our oceans is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time,” Hahn said, adding she hopes the new partnership will not only stop trash flowing from Ballona Creek into the Santa Monica Bay, “but will be part of a global project to prevent the flow of plastic pollution into our world’s oceans.”[email protected] on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCrime Watch – You got stool’edSMMUSD Announces Special Meeting on Nov. 19 and a Late Start to the Nov. 21 MeetingYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson18 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter18 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor18 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press18 hours agolast_img read more

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Fraud protections one of the issues slowing state tax refunds

first_imgThe Iowa Department of Revenue has an area on their website where you can check the status of your tax refund.A lot of Iowans are calling the Iowa Department of Revenue asking about the status of their tax return.Victoria Daniels is spokewoman for the agency. “A lot is an understatement,” Daniels said, laughing. More than half as many income tax refunds have been issued this year in Iowa compared to last year at this time.“It’s been crazy,” Daniels said. “People are upset, they’re frustrated, and sometimes they’re not very nice.” The issue isn’t unique to Iowa. Many states are warning that income tax refunds may take several months. The reason refunds are taking longer involves new protections against fraud.“The incidents of tax refund fraud has just skyrocketed in the last five years or so,” Daniels said. “There’s been some (fraud), to some extent, for a long time, but just within the last five years, it’s just out of control.”Another factor in the refund delay is a new federal law requiring the IRS to hold refunds until February 15 for people who claim certain tax credits. The federal agency conducts an additional review of those returns that are considered especially vulnerable to fraud. Daniels suggests taxpayers get used to waiting longer for their returns.“We’ve been telling taxpayers to allow at least eight weeks before the even think about seeing a return show up,” Daniels said. And instead of calling the Iowa Department of Revenue to check on a return, Daniels wants Iowans to visit the agency’s website.“We have an app on our website called Where’s My Refund? You just need your social security number, the amount of your return, and the tax year you filed for, and that will give you the status of your refund,” Daniels said. Iowa has issued just under $142 million in income tax refunds on 2016 returns as of March 24.“Comparatively to last year, that’s about 58 percent less — both in terms of dollars and number of checks that have been issued,” Daniels said. The Iowa Department of Revenue received more than 10,000 fake tax returns for the 2015 filing season, according to Daniels.Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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