FREDERICTON, N.B.-  New Brunswick is bringing in new ground rules governing the shale gas industry with the release of 97 regulations that the provincial government says are aimed at protecting the environment and creating jobs.

Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard says the rules will also protect the province’s water and landowners.

Under the regulations, exploratory wells will be required to have a double casing to protect surrounding groundwater, and the use of open pits for the storage of wastewater will not be allowed.

If a water supply is compromised, the province would work to fix it and then go after the responsible oil or gas company for
reimbursement.

Opponents of shale gas exploration are against the practice of fracking, which uses large volumes of water and chemicals to fracture layers of rock to release trapped gas.