Environmental damage along the border and in cities surrounding maquiladoras is a problem that is of great concern for many. Environmental laws in Mexico are not as strict as those in the U.S. and even these tend to fail in holding companies accountable of their responsibility to the environment and the people. Many facilities despite the little requirements do not meet them or even attempt to do so.
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Maquila plants have proven to be the source of pollutants in the air as well as the waste that ends up in the rivers and streams in the nearby areas. Plants tend to fail to dispose of their waste properly, instead dumping it into the rivers or nearby colonias where most maquiladora workers live. The massive pollution created by maquiladoras over the years has made the water nearby undrinkable, the skies clouded with brown smog, and the people nearby sick. Unfortunately, in these cases it is cheaper to pay a bribe than to comply with the Mexican law.