There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today about "How politics influenced a big clean-up deal". It's a scathing indictment of the legalized bribery (lobbying) systemic to American electoral politics. In addition, I think the article really touches on the environmental impact of rapidly growing urban areas- megaslums as Mike Davis calls them-in the developing world.
Because of the poor sanitation system in Tijuana, a great deal of raw sewage is dumped into the Tijuana river. This sewage eventually ends up in Imperial bay in San Diego county. The article outlines how a completely unqualified company won a contract to build a sewage treatment plant in Mexico by bribing both the local Democratic congressmen and the Republican administration. Incredibly, in order to build this plant, US government even renegotiated international treaties. If this isn't enough, it is not even clear that the sewage plant will help alleviate the raw sewage problem.
You have to love the WSJ. The capitalist press always tells the truth. After all, there is money on the line.