The new head of New York's Department of Environmental Conservation said the review of a massive document that will guide drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale will likely continue through the summer.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Joe Martens said DEC staff will meet twice each week starting in early April and through the summer to complete a new environmental impact statement for gas drilling that addresses issues in the 13,000 comments received on the first draft that was completed in September 2009.

In an executive order before he left office, former Gov. David Paterson directed the DEC to complete a second draft of its drilling guidelines -- the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement -- "on or about June 1." Martens said Wednesday that wasn't a hard deadline and the work would likely continue through the summer. Then, there will be a public comment period of at least 30 days.

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