Limited data and unreliable estimates on air pollution from oil and natural gas production is hindering the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to police the drilling boom, the agency's internal watchdog said in a report released Thursday.

Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. said the EPA has failed to directly measure emissions from some pieces of equipment and processes, and some estimates it does have are of "questionable quality."

"With limited data, human health risks are uncertain, states may design incorrect or ineffective emission control strategies, and EPA's decisions about regulating industry may be misinformed," Elkins said.

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