Byrd and Rahall met with officials from the state Division of Environmental Protection, the Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Surface Mining and the Fish and Wildlife Service about the statewide permitting issues.
Rahall said that 15 or 16 pending mining permits fall under the threshold and do not need additional scrutiny.
The DEP is primarily responsible for issuing those permits, he said.
"They have experienced delays," the congressman said. "But [they] intend to move forward with them."
There are another 16 permits above the threshold, Rahall said. Regulators said it will take an additional six months, at a minimum, to review those permits and give them the additional scrutiny.
At least nine other permits have not been reviewed to see whether they fall under the threshold or need additional scrutiny.
Rahall added that the discussion with regulators did not involve Arch Coal's Dal-Tex operation.
"That operation is under an injunction issued by the U.S. federal judge," Rahall said. "Only that operation is under such an injunction.
"While I share the concern of the 400 miners who face the loss of their jobs due to this injunction, neither I nor any federal agency has the power under the U.S. Constitution to intervene," he said.