Calhoun said Thursday that his agency had added nine more permits to the original list of 10 that OSM was going to study. He said the study is still on schedule for completion in mid-August.
Originally, OSM officials also said they would not - regardless of the study outcomes - try to come up with a more concrete definition of approximate original contour.
Calhoun said that OSM may decide to look at that issue after all.
"When we're done, this may be something so specific to West Virginia that DEP the state Division of Environmental Protection might want to take the lead on developing some specific guidance," Calhoun said.
Meanwhile, coal industry lobbyists have blasted OSM for its involvement in a related controversy over a post-mining land use popular with many of the state's larger coal operators.
OSM has been investigating the state's permitting of mountaintop removal AOC variances for mines that propose to reclaim the land for "fish and wildlife habitat and recreation lands."
Under current federal rules, that post-mining land use is not allowed for mountaintop removal mines.
In a June 8 letter to OSM Director Kathy Karpan, West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said that, in not approving the land use, OSM is "relying on the longstanding sympathies and biases of several of its employees, rather than on a sound reading of the law.
"Although personnel within OSM's Charleston field office have, from time to time, informally expressed their displeasure with the use of this post-mining land use as the basis for an AOC variance, to our knowledge, OSM has never taken any oversight action with respect to such operations notwithstanding its long knowledge of their existence," Raney wrote.
Raney attached a legal paper and court decision that he says backs up the coal industry argument that fish and wildlife habitat can be used for mountaintop removal AOC variances.
In his letter, Raney also asked that OSM reopen a public comment period on a state Division of Environmental Protection proposal to add fish and wildlife habitat as an approved AOC variance post-mining land use. Calhoun declined comment on Raney's letter.