The Environmental Working Group recently released a report on hydraulic fracturing in the USA concluding that extraction activities using this technique threaten groundwater quality and drinking water sources. According to EWG, fracking should be subject to regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Yesterday, Louis-Gilles Francoeur reported in Le Devoir (in French - earlier article here) that the Québec Ministry for Natural Resources recently issued 580 drilling permits to extract shale gas in the St. Lawrence River Valley. The official opposition in the Québec National Assembly suggests that the government is attempting to exclude the autorisations from the standard environmental impact assessment process.
In an academic context, Water Wiki raises legal questions stemming from fracking operations.