The 40-page document says the government will monitor water and air quality and respond with necessary regulations as the natural gas industry develops.
Environment Minister Bruce Fitch says the focus is to ensure the industry can evolve in an environmentally safe manner.
But Green party Leader David Coon dismisses the document, saying the Progressive Conservative government lacks credibility on environmental issues.
Opponents of shale gas exploration are concerned that groundwater supplies could be contaminated.
The blueprint says the government will continue to study the issue of royalty and revenue sharing, with a recommendation expected next year.
It says the government will work with its new energy institute to identify the economic impact of developing oil and natural gas resources.