Minnesota GOP U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack took some more heat at a meeting in Duluth Friday, as some critics pushed for a town hall meeting in the 8th District's largest city.
Cravaack was criticized last summer for not hosting a town hall in Duluth. Eventually he held a public meeting at the airport, but only with a day's notice. After Friday's meeting, about a dozen people demanded another town hall this year. Cravaack said he'd hold one.
"We're working on something special for Duluth," Cravaack said. "We're nailing down the time frame now."
Cravaack has held dozens of town halls across his sprawling district, but mostly in small, far-flung towns. Democrats are targeting the freshman's seat in their efforts to win back control of the House. Cravaack shocked long-time DFL incumbent Rep. Jim Oberstar in 2010, who had held the seat for 36 years.
Cravaack was in Duluth Friday for a PolyMet mining project roundtable. Environmental regulators have been scrutinizing the proposed copper-nickel mine for the past several years.
Cravaack said an updated environmental impact statement is still slated for release to the company and regulatory agencies this fall, and to the public in the first quarter of next year.
But he said the agencies involved anticipate a court fight.
"They know they're going to get sued," Cravaack said. "They want to make sure that the Is are dotted, the Ts are crossed, and that everybody's had a voice."
Environmental groups oppose the project, citing concerns about possible acidic runoff and other pollution.