MONTREAL — Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he is not interested in exploiting the province’s shale gas reserves.

He tells the CBC’s French-language service that Quebecers are largely against hydraulic fracturing.

Couillard made the comments shortly after Quebec’s environmental review board concluded the environmental and social risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” outweigh the financial benefits.

Fracking is a process whereby a pressurized fluid is injected into shale rock in order to crack the rock and release underground natural gas deposits.

The environmental review board noted that fracking risks contaminating surface and underground water basins and that citizens living along the St. Lawrence River are against the practice.

Quebec imposed a moratorium on drilling exploratory fracking wells in 2011.