SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Springfield city officials have agreed to pay $684,000 toward federal cleanup of a long-abandoned steel-producing company.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the amount is half what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sought in a federal lawsuit.

The city owns a portion of the 50-acre site where Springfield Iron Co. ceased operations in 1905. The Justice Department sought to hold the city liable.

The problem arose in 2010 when sludge containing carcinogenic coal tar seeped onto a nearby sidewalk. The EPA replaced 4,300 tons of coal tar and contaminated soil with clean fill in 2014 and sought reimbursement in 2017.

The city argued it shouldn't be liable, that EPA waited too long to seek payment and that the city couldn't afford the bill. Mediation settled the matter.