Human composting legislation introduced in California

Legislation introduced into the California Assembly last week would allow the composting of human remains.

The introduction of AB 2592, by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia makes California the third state in the U.S. to consider human composting legislation. Washington passed a law last April to allow the practice, and Colorado is considering similar legislation.

California’s AB2592 would require California’s Cemetery and Funeral Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs, to license and regulate “reduction facilities,” as defined, and would enact requirements applicable to “reduction facilities” substantially similar to those applicable to crematoria and hydrolysis facilities.

Reduction facilities are facilities that reduce the remains of a human body to soil through a process of contained, accelerated conversion. A reduction chamber is an enclosed space within which individual human remains are reduced to soil through an accelerated natural process of conversion and any other attached, nonenclosed, mechanical components that are necessary for the safe and proper functioning of the equipment.

The bill was introduced on February 20 and was read one time by the assembly. Garcia was the bill’s only sponsor at the time of this posting.

In Colorado, HB 1060, titled Natural Organic Reduction Human Remains, was introduced by Rep. Brianna Titone in January. The bill was referred to the Committee of the Whole on February 14.

“This service embodies the spirit of Colorado’s way of life,” Titone said. “In addition to freedom of choice for consumers and a positive environmental impact, Natural Organic Reduction will also benefit Colorado by bringing in a new, unique business opportunity that complements the state’s entrepreneurial nature.”

She said Natural Organic Reduction offers an additional choice for after-death care that is natural and sustainable. With significant savings in carbon emissions and land usage, it addresses increasing demand for green alternatives:

Colorado has one of the highest cremation rates in the U.S. at 73.6 percent.

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