U.S. Army officials told Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah, Tuesday that it could delay issuing a final environmental impact statement on the proposed biological aerosol test facility at Dugway Proving Grounds.

The Army issued a statement noting that its tentative schedule calls for the final EIS to be completed in August and the decision in September."If the Army feels that it needs more time to study and resolve the issues presented, it could extend that schedule," the service said.

Hansen had written Army Secretary John O. Marsh Jr. asking him to delay the decision to allow more time to assess public concerns expressed at a public hearing on the facility in Salt Lake City last week.

He said the army's statement was "a strong signal the Army is willing to listen to Utah concerns and willing to do more to work with the people in my state."

"I am very concerned about the men and women who may some day have to fight in a chemical or biological environment and I hope that this apparent delay will give us more time to work with the Army to come up with a prudent approach to a sensitive issue that must be addressed."