Posted at: 01/16/2014 8:58 PM
Updated at: 01/18/2014 1:41 PM
Hundreds of people packed public forum on a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.
An estimated 1,500 people turned out in Duluth Thursday night for the first of three forums on PolyMet Mining Corp.'s proposed open-pit mine near Babbitt.
Seven busloads of supporters from the Iron Range came down.
Environmental groups rallied their people as well.
People were submitting written comments. And they attended an open-house where they could ask questions about the project from the three host agencies, the MN DNR, USACE, and U.S. Forest Service.
But the main draw of the night was the opportunity for people to speak in front of the audience.
Folks signed up in advance, and were picked at random to speak.
They were allowed three minutes in total to speak. Many folks applauded after the speeches, but that was discouraged so there would be more time for speaking.
At the end of the night, 80 people in total spoke. 171 had signed up for the opportunity.
If you didn't have time to give your comment, you still have more chances.
Similar meetings are scheduled for Aurora on Jan. 22 at the Mesabi East High School and St. Paul at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Jan. 28.
And you can always submit comments online here.