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SB 5001 - Authorizes Composting of Human Remains - Washington Key Vote

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Title: Authorizes Composting of Human Remains

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to concur with house amendments and pass a bill that authorizes composting of human remains as a burial or cremation alternative.

Highlights:

 

  • Authorizes an individual to control the disposition of their own body and specifies that natural organic reduction, also known as composting of human remains, is allowed as an alternative to the burial or cremation process (Sec. 23).

  • Authorizes the family of a deceased individual to use natural organic reduction as an alternative to burial or cremation and specifies that designated niches and scattering gardens in a cemetery for the human remains (Sec. 7-11).

  • Defines “niche” as a space in a columbarium for placement of human remains (Sec. 9).

  • Defines “scattering garden” as a designated area in a cemetery for the scattering of human remains (Sec. 10).

  • Requires that any individual who uses natural organic reduction and buries or scatters human remains by land, aire, or sea, or performs any other disposition of human remains outside of a cemetery must have a permit (Sec. 13).

  • Defines “human remains” or “remains” as the body of a deceased person including remains following the process of cremation, alkaline hydrolysis, or natural organic reduction, including the body in any stage of decomposition (Sec. 2).

  • Defines “alkaline hydrolysis” or “hydrolysis” as the reduction of human remains to bone fragments and essential elements in a licensed facility using heat, pressure, water, and base chemical agents (Sec. 3).

  • Defines “natural organic reduction” as contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil (Sec. 7).

  • Specifies that this act shall take effect May 1, 2020 (Sec. 40).

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