The lesson though, is that citizens, local government, counties, states and the federal gov't don't have the power to say no to corporations out right. Permits are designed to favor the filer of the permit. If a community wants to prevent the permit, they have be smarter that the filer and show why it shouldn't be there, what's wrong with the science of the project, how it would harm human health and the environment to a level that convinces the agency offering the permit that is should deny it. If it is denied, the filer can then take those arguments against it and re-write the permit to be more in line with the communities arguments and re-file the permit. So, activists fighting unsafe processes find themselves re-writing permits for industry and rarely stopping permits for some industries. If a community, city, county, state or tribe does not want a corporation to put a mine or polluting facility on or near their jurisdiction, THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO IN THE U.S. OR ANY OTHER COUNTRY, FOR THAT MATTER!!!
Even at the UN, "Pre, Prior and Informed Consent" do not yet mean the right to say no!! Nowhere on earth do the multi-national corporations experience permit denials based on a community's right to say no! Just because a corporation wants to do it does not meat they get to if a community does not want there! Maybe we don't want the legacy of dirty mines and all that means, hazardous waste facilities, petroleum facilities, fracking, etc. If a community wants to say no, why can't they??? I have been an environmental organizer most of my adult life, full time for the past 35 years+. I know what I am talking about. This is the law in our democracy and other countries around the world, democratic or not. Corporations rule!!!! Permits are nearly impossible to fight. Comment periods are rarely meaningful to a permit process, except to make the permit a letter better accepted.