Hill Air Force Base has been granted a reprieve in the North Davis County Sewer District's drive to compel the base to comply with federal Environmental Protection Agency industrial waste-water standards.
Sewer board members last month threatened sanctions against Hill, saying wastewater is continuing to exceed acceptable levels of certain pollutants.Board Chairman Golden Sill said that following a "friendly meeting" last week, Col. Lloyd McCoin, Hill's commander, promised to submit to the district a plan and timetable for full compliance.
"They recognized they had some problems," Sill said.
Base wastewater contains unacceptably high levels of total toxic organics, or TTOs, including solvents and other chemicals commonly found in industrial wastewater, officials have said.
The EPA had given the base a Feb. 14, 1986, deadline to get its total toxic organics levels into compliance. But the sewer district, which is responsible for enforcement, had been holding off on sanctions against Hill because the base is constructing a facility to remove toxic organics.
The treatment system began operating in December, but laboratory tests showed toxic organics continued to be a problem.
"We told them we'd received the word that their TTO plant was a miserable failure," said board member DeLore Thurgood. "But they said no, it was a one-of-a-kind plant, and they think they've got it debugged now. I was totally pleased with what they had to offer."
District General Manager Robert Hohman said he also is pleased with Hill's response and expects to receive a compliance plan and timetable within the next few days.
Base spokesman Len Barry said Hill officials are confident the plant will resolve the district's concerns.
"We think it's the answer to the situation and it's just a matter of confirming that through tests," he said.