RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A divided panel of federal regulators has denied requests from individuals and public interest groups to reconsider its approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday issued an order turning down the requests. Two of the five commissioners dissented.

Construction is currently underway on the approximately $3.5 billion, 300-mile natural gas pipeline, which will run through West Virginia and Virginia. The pipeline is scheduled to be in service by the end of the year. A number of legal challenges against it are pending.

A pipeline spokeswoman said Friday that the commission's decision reaffirms its previous findings that there is a public need for the project.

Whether there is true demand for the gas is something environmental groups and other opponents dispute. The dissenting commissioners raised questions about need and the impacts of climate change, among other things.

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