Roger Calhoun, director of the OSM Charleston field office, said he wanted to emphasize that his agency is playing only a "secondary role" in the new pilot program.
"At this point, we are taking a backseat to see how things go," Calhoun said.
DEP Director Michael Miano said his agency has no plans to make the program retroactive so that permits already approved would have to comply with it.
Miano insisted that DEP has not improperly issued any permits. "What has been done in the past was done in accordance with the law," Miano said.
Andy Gallagher, DEP's public information officer, would not allow questions about how the new policy would affect permits that are pending.
Gallagher also tried to avoid questions about whether DEP would continue with an earlier plan to review old mountaintop removal permits and fix any improper post-mining land use proposals.
John Ailes, chief of the DEP Office of Mining and Reclamation, answered that question anyway.
"The plans are to go back ultimately and change the post-mining land use," Ailes said. "That is what we have tentatively agreed to."
Industry officials at Monday's meeting asked a few questions, but had little criticism for the DEP plan.
Environmental activists weren't as quiet.
Winnie Fox of Huntington said, "I'd like to know how you're ever going to approximate the contour. It took thousands of years for the mountains to be formed.
"I'm not an engineer. I'm not a geologist, but even I know you can't put the mountains back."
Wojtowicz replied, "We do the best we can."