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Dakota Access submits another status update entirely under seal






Musician Gabriel Ayala, a citizen of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, performs at the Native Nations Rise rally in front of the White House in Washington, D.C, on March 10, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

The wealthy backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline appear closer than ever to completing their controversial project.

But there's no way to know for sure because the firm submitted its latest update an entirely under seal. Although the document was marked as a "status report" in the federal court's online system, it is not accessible to the public.

"This document is SEALED and only available to authorized persons," the description in the system reads.

The document was filed on Tuesday but the entry didn't appear in the system until Wednesday afternoon. It follows a partially-redacted status update that Dakota Access submitted on Monday evening.

Monday's update cited "coordinated physical attacks" along the route of the 1,172-mile pipeline but no information was provided to the public in the filing. Since then, authorities in Iowa and in South Dakota have confirmed investigations into alleged vandalism, Forum News Service and the Associated Press reported.

Authorities in North Dakota have not received any claims of damage, according to the reports.

Despite the lack of concrete information, Dakota Access indicated that crude oil could be flowing through the pipeline this week. Construction crews have been making strong progress on the final portion in North Dakota.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are still hoping they can stop the pipeline with an ongoing lawsuit in federal court. It appears likely that oil will be flowing before they are fully heard on the matter.

The final portion of the pipeline is located on federally-managed land, less than a half-mile from the northern border of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. It runs underneath the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.

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