A new report predicts continued sluggish economic growth in New England and cautions that most states in the region will not return to pre-recession employment levels until 2015.
The four-year forecast released Wednesday by the New England Economic Partnership says Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont will have the strongest economies in the six-state region, while Rhode Island will continue to experience the highest unemployment.
The economists said Maine and Connecticut will also struggle to reach pre-recession jobs levels before the end of 2016.
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is working to reduce water pollution in the Lake Champlain watershed by requiring a number of municipalities and other groups to do more to control storm water runoff.
The new permit requires 13 communities, the University of Vermont, the Burlington International Airport and the state Transportation Agency to develop storm water management plans to reduce the amount of polluted runoff that flows into streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.
Two conservation groups have re-submitted court papers in an attempt to obtain documents that they say prove state agencies improperly communicated with developers before approving the largest development project in the Adirondacks.
The unemployment rate in New England was unchanged in October and remains below the national average.
The New England Information Office of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday that the jobless rate in the six-state region was 7.4 percent in October, the same as in September. The regional rate was 7.5 percent a year ago.
Rhode Island's unemployment rate of 10.4 percent is the highest in New England and the second highest in the nation. Vermont's rate of 5.5 percent is the lowest in the region.
An anti-nuclear group is asking the Vermont Supreme Court to order an immediate shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
The New England Coalition points to a state Public Service Board order last week saying the Vernon reactor's owners agreed in 2002 to shut down if they didn't have a new state certificate of public good by this past March.