Weekley and other residents repeatedly interrupted Gardner's presentation.
Julian Martin, a teacher from Lincoln County, complained that strip mine valley fills are being allowed despite federal laws that prohibit polluting streams.
"What do you think they'd do to me if I filled in the creek next to my house?" Martin said. "They'd probably throw me in jail."
Patricia Bragg of Logan County said state regulators bend over backward to help the coal industry.
"The government and big industry are so immersed in West Virginia right now that we don't know where one starts and the other one ends," said Bragg, who works with the West Virginia Organizing Project.
OSM officials in the room, including agency Regional Director Al Klein, did not respond to any of the citizen concerns.
Eventually, Gardner begged to be allowed to continue.
"I was asked to speak for 10 minutes and I would like to have my 10 minutes," Gardner said. "I will skip lunch and stay here to talk with any of you, but I would like to get my remarks in first."
Tom FitzGerald, a lawyer and environmentalist from Kentucky, praised the citizens for their comments at the symposium.
"It has been refreshing to me to listen to some of the real concerns of the citizens of West Virginia about mining," FitzGerald said. "It's something that we should all be constantly cognizant of."
John Ailes, chief of the state Division of Environmental Protection's Office of Mining and Reclamation, said citizens and environmentalists have some valid questions about mountaintop removal.
Ailes said the state needs more information about longtime environmental impacts of mountaintop removal, and a better plan for what will be done with land once it's mined out.
"Are the regulations adequate? Are there things we can improve?" Ailes said. "Those are things we're hoping to answer. I don't think the ship is in port totally on that issue."