Danielle G. Sakai

Partner

Tel: (951) 826-8328

Location(s)

At a Glance

Danielle focuses on environmental contamination, land use and real property disputes. 

She successfully negotiated a settlement in one of California’s most contentious Superfund sites. 

Danielle assists clients in navigating the Proposition 65 process, including litigation and negotiation, to resolve issues.

Danielle Sakai’s practice focuses on environmental contamination, land use and real property disputes. A partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Environmental Law & Natural Resources practice group, Danielle has significant experience representing public and private clients in state and federal court, as well as before state and regulatory agencies.

Contamination 
Danielle is involved in one of California’s most contentious Superfund sites involving the Rialto/Colton Groundwater Basin. In addition to being part of the litigation team representing the City of Colton in federal and state court, Danielle worked closely with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Regional Water Quality Control Board and advised the City throughout the litigation process — including the settlement negotiations that ultimately netted the City more than a 90 percent recovery. Danielle continues to work to implement the remedy and ensure that there is a safe and clean drinking water source for the more than 50,000 residents of Colton and the neighboring communities. 

Danielle’s contamination law practice is unique in that she handles all aspects of the transaction — from the cradle to the grave. She oversees the due diligence process, assists with loan funding or potential foreclosure issues, works with regulators, ensures cost recovery and, if necessary, handles any potential litigation that arises from the transaction.

Representative Matters

  • U.S. EPA v. City of Victorville: Represents the City of Victorville in this administrative matter related to air, soil and potential groundwater contamination caused by the prior owner from a dry cleaning business
  • U.S. EPA v. Belmont Produce Sales, Inc.: Represented Belmont Produce Sales, Inc., in an administrative matter before the U.S. EPA related to soil and air contamination at a Superfund site
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission v. Liston Brick Company of Corona: Represented RCTC before the Department of Toxic Substances Control related to the approval of a remedial action plan for property it sought to purchase
  • Motor Doctors, Lust Cleanup Site: Represents the Beverly Hills Unified School District related to groundwater contamination under a school site that is emanating from offsite sources


Proposition 65
Proposition 65 violation notices can be cumbersome and costly for small businesses. Danielle assists clients in navigating the process, including litigation and negotiation, to resolve these issues in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner. These matters can arise in just about any industry, and Danielle has worked with a variety of businesses — from importers of rice and children’s sandals to gardening equipment retailers to hotels and restaurants — in resolving these claims.

Property Assessed Clean Energy 
When public agencies wish to enter the Property Assessed Clean Energy program to allow for energy upgrades in homes or other properties, Danielle assists by helping navigate the necessary legal hurdles. She counseled the Western Riverside Council of Governments, the San Bernardino Associated Governments, the City of Fontana and others, helping them receive the judicial determinations needed to secure the bond financing for the programs.

In addition, Danielle has authored featured articles for the California Land Use Law & Policy Reporter, the Climate Change Law & Policy Reporter and is an editorial board member of the Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter. She gives presentations to legal groups, clients and associations on the challenges and solutions to acquiring previously contaminated property.

While at Loyola Law School, Danielle received the Bancroft-Whitney Award for Academic Achievement and was a member of the Scott Moot Court Honor Society, where she participated in the finals of the Jessup International Law Competition and was awarded for both written and oral advocacy.

Danielle is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern districts of California and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She is admitted to practice in the State of California.

Education

  • Loyola Law School, J.D. 
  • University of California, Riverside, B.A., history and law & society
Best in Law: Get Out in Front on Possible Environmental Violations
Authored Articles & Publications Apr 19, 2016

Best in Law: Get Out in Front on Possible Environmental Violations

Businesses Will Find That Honesty Is the Best Policy, Writes BB&K Partner Danielle Sakai in the Press-Enterprise

  • “District Court Finds Bankruptcy Discharge Cannot Bar CERCLA Contribution Claims Not Yet Legally Recognized at the Time of the Bankruptcy Filing or the Discharge,” Environmental Liability, Enforcement & Penalties Reporter, November 2016