The National Post has run an optinion article that outlines some of the risks associated with shale gas. It outlines concerns voiced by environmental organizations and responds to those concerns.
I tend to agree that Shale Gas does not entail much more risk than drilling and production associated with conventional oil and gas wells.
What does concern me is that the author does not present a suggested remedy in the event that a problem with ground or surface water contamination is detected. In my opinion, developers of shale gas or conventional petroleum wells should be carry an insurance policy that indemnifies neighbors from low-probability, but potential forms mishaps that can result in a leak of production and working fluids. Ideally, the insurance would work on a no-fault model for the injured party so they are compensated for losses without having to demonstrate cause or negligence on the part of the company or companies producing the gas.