Quebec's environmental review board says shale gas exploration in the province is not worth the risk.

The agency report concludes there are too many potential negative consequences to the environment and to society from extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits along the St. Lawrence River.

The report cites risks to air and water quality, potential increases in noise and light pollution and says the deposits in the province are located in densely populated areas along the river.

In 2011, the Quebec government issued a moratorium on exploring for natural gas in the province until it finished an environmental assessment, which included the report published today.

The federal government said there are up to 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in shale deposits in Quebec and that before the moratorium, 31 exploration wells had been drilled between Montreal and Quebec City.