Friends of the Earth loses drinking water case

The Court of Appeal has turned down an appeal by Friends of the Earth (FoE) against last year's decision by the High Court that the Secretary of State had acted legally in accepting "undertakings" from water companies to bring drinking water into line with EC standards. R v Secretary of State ex parte Friends of the Earth and another (Court of Appeal, Civil Division, 25 May 1995) raised important issues of principle which are relevant to many areas of environmental law, and while the result was not entirely surprising some of the Court of Appeal's reasoning raises disturbing questions.

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