BANGOR, Maine — The owner of a former tannery in South Paris has settled a lawsuit with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and will reimburse the agency $5.7 million for cleaning up the site.

Terms of the settlement between ConAgra Grocery Products Company LLC and the EPA were released on July 30 but did not become official until Friday, when the comment period elapsed and the terms were approved by U.S. District Court.

The proceeds of the settlement will be used to reimburse the EPA for cleanup costs at the A.C. Lawrence Leather Company Sludge Lagoons Superfund Site in South Paris. Superfund is the name of the federal program for cleaning up hazardous waste.

Documents filed at U.S. District Court in Portland show that from at least 1955 to 1975, A.C. Lawrence disposed of tannery waste in a series of sludge lagoons located at the South Paris site. When the tannery closed, the sludge lagoons were covered with gravel, according to a news release the EPA issued about the case.

In 2000, the town of South Paris received a complaint about “green ooze” on the bank of the Little Androscoggin River, which is adjacent to the site. The EPA and state environmental regulators investigated and determined that sludge remained in the former lagoons and that the soil in and around them were contaminated, the EPA said.

Sampling showed a widespread layer of chromium sludge present in the soil from about two and a half feet below ground surface to a depth of as much as 14 feet below ground surface. The primary contaminants were chromium, lead and volatile organic compounds.

In 2006 and 2007, the EPA cleaned up the site and excavated and disposed of contaminated soils from the lagoons and the riverbank. The EPA found about 6,200 cubic yards of contaminated sludge and soil at the site requiring excavation and disposal at a cost of about $5 million.

After unsuccessful enforcement negotiations with ConAgra, the federal government in November 2011 sued ConAgra, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Inc., to recover cleanup and enforcement costs.

The feds alleged that ConAgra was the successor to the A.C. Lawrence Leather Company through a series of complex corporate transactions.

After several years of discovery and the filing of motions for summary judgment, ConAgra agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle the government’s claim, though it did not admit to any liability in doing so.