Shale gas resources have been referred to as a game changer for North America and it is expected that shale gas will account for over 30% of the natural gas production in North America by 2020. However, the development of this resource has raised several concerns, notably in terms of water use and contamination; more stringent regulations could be implemented in the coming years. The aim of this paper is to present the effect that more stringent regulations would have on gas development in the Marcellus shale, which accounts for 20% of North American shale gas production. Information on hydraulic fracturing and its environmental impacts is provided herein, along with information on the regulatory initiatives underway in the Marcellus shale region. This paper pointed out that novel regulations relating to shale gas development could significantly reduce the growth in shale gas production.