Published: Sep 14, 2010 7:30 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 14, 2010 4:30 PM EDT

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Defense contractor Lockheed Martin and residents of a small Florida town have reached a tentative deal to settle a groundwater contamination lawsuit.

Lockheed Martin and residents of Tallevast in Manatee County issued a joint statement Tuesday about the possible agreement, which is confidential.

The deal must still be approved by an undisclosed percentage of the 270 residents who sued, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Residents allege a now-shuttered weapons plant leaked toxic chemicals into the groundwater, causing cancer and birth defects.