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Legislative

This section of the website is devoted to keeping you informed of the legislative and agency process to authorize bio cremation using alkaline hydrolysis.

Cremation Association of North America

Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an International organization of over 1,200 members, composed of cremationists, funeral directors, funeral home operators and owners, cemeterians, industry suppliers and consultants.

CANA's goal is to serve everyone with an interest in cremation with the best information, training, and experience. You can learn more by visiting their website at www.cremationassociation.org. CANA also has a long history devoted to the proper treatment and respect for those who have chosen cremation. In this regard, CANA has developed a model law for state legislatures to consider when enacting cremation related statutes and codes.

Click this link to read the CANA Model Law and related explanations.

State Legislation

Below is a brief summary of states where legislative activity has occurred. Each summary includes a link to a copy of the proposed legislation, new law or rule.

Once a legislative bill is signed into law, most state agencies responsible for administering the new law will hold public hearings to adopt administrative rules. These rules have the binding effect of law and help to clarify how the agency will conduct its business as it relates to protecting the consumer and mandating compliance.

Unlike state legislatures that generally meet only once a year, state agencies may hold public hearings throughout the year and as often as deemed necessary. Generally speaking, most state agencies take 180 days to complete the hearing process and adopt changes to their administrative rules.

See the state summaries below for legislative action, effective date of new laws and the status of any agency public hearing.

California (2012 Legislation)

Assemblyman Jeff Miller has filed AB 1615. The bill passed the Business and Consumer Protection Committee on April 24, the Appropriations Committee on May 25 and the full Assembly on May 29 by a vote of 71 to 1. The bill now moves to the Senate for committee hearings.

To read a copy of the bill, click here.

Colorado (2011 Law)

On April 6, 2011, Governor John W Hickenlooper signed into law HB 11-1178. The legislation was supported by the Colorado Funeral Directors Association. The bill made several technical changes to existing law, including the deletion of "direct exposure to intense heat" as the only acceptable method for cremation. This change now makes it possible to use alkaline hydrolysis as a method of final disposition. The effective date of the new law is August 10, 2011.

Florida (2009 Law)

In 2009 the Florida Deathcare Coalition supported an industry bill to authorized columbaria on college campuses and a technical amendment to existing statutes to authorize bio cremation using alkaline hydrolysis. This simple change was made possible by a legislative change in 2004 that codified many of the proposed changes in the CANA Model Law.

The effective date of the new law is July 1, 2009. On August 5, 2009 the Florida Funeral Cemetery and Consumer Services Board reviewed the new legislation, a legal analysis of the new changes and determined that no additional rule-making was necessary for implementation or compliance.

In November 2011, Matthews Cremation Division installed the first commercial human BIO Cremator in St. Petersburg, Florida.

To read a copy of the law, click here.

Illinois (2012 Law)

Effective February 6, 2012, Governor Pat Quinn has signed into law SB 1830 (Chapter 97-0679) that was passed by the 2011 Legislature.

The new law redefines "Cremation" to include the technical process, using heat and flame, or alkaline hydrolysis that reduces human remains to bone fragments. The reduction takes place through heat and evaporation or through hydrolysis.

The new law also redefines "Green burial or cremation disposition" to include burial or cremation practices that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and toxic chemicals ordinarily created in burial or cremation or, in the case of greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate or offset emissions. Such practices include any standards or method for burial or cremation that the Department may name by rule.

The Illinois law also mandates that all crematories shall be subject to all Local, State, and Federal health and environmental protection requirements and shall obtain all necessary licenses and permits from the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the Department of Public Health, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, and the Illinois and Federal Environmental Protection Agencies, or such other appropriate Local, State, or Federal agencies.

If you would like to read a copy of the law, please click here.

Kansas (2010 Law and 2011 Rule Adoption)

Kansas legislators have approved BIO Cremation using alkaline hydrolysis. Amendment language, taken from the CANA Model Law, was added to Senate Substitute for House Bill 2310, a conference committee bill. The effective date of the new law (KSA 65-1760) is July 1, 2011. Effective September 16, 2011 the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts modified their administrative rules relating to individual licensure of crematory operators but no changes were deemed necessary to the new definition of cremation as defined by the new law.

To read a copy of the law, click here.

Maine (2009 Administrative Rule)

In June 2009, the Division of Environmental Health at the Department of Health and Human Services held a public workshop to consider changes to "Rules for Establishment and Operation of Crematoria" (144 CMR 244).

Public testimony and proposed rule language was presented by Matthews Cremation Division to explain the BIO Cremation process. Public testimony from the Maine Funeral Consumer Advocacy and crematory owners supported adoption of the BIO Cremation language.

The agency reviewed the public testimony (based on statutory authority) and submitted a new rule to the Maine Attorney General for legal review. The Attorney General approved the new rule effective October 26, 2009.

To read a copy of the administrative rule, click here.

Maryland (2010 Law passed and 2012 Rule Adoption pending)

The Maryland Legislature has passed HB 995 into law. The bill incorporates language taken from the CANA Model Law. The effective date is October 1, 2011. The new law also directs the State Board of Morticians to adopt rules and regulations no later than the effective date of the new law. Final adoption of the new rule is still pending.

To read a copy of the new law, click here.

Minnesota (2006 Law)

The 2006 Legislature enacted 149A.025 relating to alkaline hydrolysis. The new law states that the process of alkaline hydrolysis shall be subject to the same licensing requirements and regulations that apply to cremation, crematories, and cremated remains as described in this chapter.

Presently, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN uses alkaline hydrolysis for its anatomical gift program...and soon the process will be used at a commercial funeral home in Stillwater, MN.

To read a copy of the law, click here.

Oregon (2009 Law and 2012 Rule Adoption)

In 2009 the legislature passed SB 796 to require death care consultants to be licensed, along with several other changes. SB 796 by Senator Walker becomes Chapter 709-2009 Laws.

The effective date of the new law is July 14, 2009.

The new law defines 'Final Disposition' to mean the burial, interment, cremation, dissolution (meaning bio cremation using alkaline hydrolysis) or other disposition of human remains authorized by board rule. The new law also requires the Oregon Mortuary & Cemetery Board to adopt rules promoting environmentally sound death care practices. The effective date of the new rule is April 1, 2012.

To read a copy of the law, click here.

Other States Considering BIO Cremation Legislation in 2012

For the states listed below, legislation to authorize BIO Cremation using alkaline hydrolysis has been drafted or filed for 2012. If you are interested in supporting this legislation, please contact Steven Schaal at Matthews Cremation Division (800) 327-2831 x 162 or via email sschaal@matw.com 

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania

BIO Cremation Legislative Map

Please see the map below for a summary of the legislative status of each state. This map will be continuously updated, so please keep checking back for the current status of your state! 

Blue
Legal in these States 

Green
Level 1 - Legislation anticipated or pending 

White
Level 2 - No legislation currently pending

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