Secretary of State Jim Condos has accepted an appointment to a national task force on Business Identity Theft. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has announced the formation of a NASS Business Identity Theft Task Force to help states combat the growing threat of business identity theft. The task force is a major association initiative that will target business identity theft prevention strategies and develop practical, cost-effective tools and guidance for states. “With the downturn in the economy, the newest victims of identity theft are small and medium-sized businesses, including dormant or inactive companies,” said NASS President Mark Ritchie of Minnesota, who serves on the task force. “As the state officials who oversee business registrations and corporate filings, secretaries of state have come together to find proactive ways to educate business owners on how they can reduce their chances of falling prey to identity thieves and to explore safeguards for state filing systems.”.Secretary Condos is looking forward to his role on this Task Force. ‘I am honored to be joining my colleagues from nine other states to research and address a broad range of Business Identity Theft issues. By participating on this task force, I will be at the forefront, helping establish best practices that can be implemented in Vermont, and introducing cost-effective, cutting edge strategies to Vermont’s businesses to help prevent this from happening to them.’”The NASS Business Identity Theft Task Force capitalizes on the expertise of our members when it comes to state business services and records management,” said NASS Executive Director Leslie Reynolds. “Task force members are confident that working together on identity theft prevention is an extremely wise investment strategy for states and businesses alike, saving valuable time, money and resources for all.”The ten-member NASS Business Identity Theft Task Force will work with a wide array of industry stakeholders, including state legislators, law enforcement, business support groups, financial institutions and others as it develops its final report. The task force’s final report is scheduled to be released later this year.Secretary of State Jim Condos has over 20 years of elected public service including 18 years on South Burlington City Council, 8 years as a Vermont State Senator, along with over 30 years of private sector business experience. Founded in 1904, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) is the oldest, nonpartisan professional organization of public officials in the United States. Members include the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Plymouth and Exeter universities have completed the first set of ecological studies as part of the EU Horizon 2020 funded Clean Energy from Ocean Waves (CEFOW) project.The research was carried out at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC)’s grid-connected wave energy test site where Wello Oy’s Penguin wave energy converter has been operating since installation in March 2017.Initial observations indicate the presence of a variety of species, including cod, plaice and octopus, and both sand and rock habitat types, according to EMEC.EMEC also said that no conclusions regarding the impact of the devices can be made until the end of the project once all data has been collected, analyzed and a robust, comparative study can be completed.Emma Sheehan from the University of Plymouth said: “The data analysis will take place continuously throughout the course of the CEFOW project, with further ecological studies taken place throughout the summer months of 2018/19, following deployment of the second and third wave energy converter (WEC) – due to be deployed as part of the CEFOW wave energy array.“As wave energy is still in the R&D phase of development, it is important to monitor the impact of wave energy convertor on the local ecosystem including the abundance of commercially important fish; habitat building biogenic reef species, and water filtering shellfish. By conducting the studies over multiple years, we can build up a robust picture of the test site, and any impact that wave energy deployments may have.”As part of the CEFOW project, the ecological surveys will take place over three consecutive summers to investigate the cumulative impact of multiple WECs on the seabed habitat and associated ecosystem.Monitoring involves the use of non-destructive towed underwater video systems (TUVS) and baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) to analyze species and habitats on and around the seabed, close to the Penguin device, as well as at control sites to the north and south of the WEC.The multi-year dataset is expected to assist with understanding the degree of natural spatial and temporal variation of marine organisms at EMEC’s test site.The studies will also provide information to marine energy stakeholders of any positive and negative effects so that they can be optimized and/or mitigated as wave energy technologies develop.CEFOW is a five-year research project coordinated by Fortum whose mission is to develop the use of Wello’s Penguin wave energy converter in electrical-grid-connected ocean conditions.