The Environmental Protection Agency has discontinued work on effluent guidelines for drinking-water treatment plants, EPA officials say. In 2004 EPA said it intended to develop limits on amounts of treatment residuals, such as aluminum salts and organic matter, discharged to surface water. But EPA decided in recent weeks to halt work on limits, “given higher-priority technology-based rules that were added to the effluent guidelines program,” says spokesman Dale Kemery. EPA will prepare a technical report that states can use in developing and reissuing treatment-plant permits. Steve Via, American Water Works Association regulatory affairs manager, says an EPA rule would have been a national benchmark, but he adds that most states already require utilities to provide additional treatment when needed.