Where is alkaline hydrolysis legal?

Tracker: Where Is Alkaline Hydrolysis Legal In The US?

By: Team Earth

Feb 02, 2023 | Green Funeral Practice

3 min read

Note: The table on this page is kept up to date as a guide to where alkaline hydrolysis is legal in the US. Legislative changes are monitored and this page can be considered an accurate reference point.

Green funeral options are growing in popularity and availability. As the reality of the climate crisis sets in, more people are concerned about their final environmental impact on the planet.

One eco-friendly funeral option is alkaline hydrolysis. First legalized in a US state just after the turn of the 21st century, alkaline hydrolysis has frequently been met with approval by legislators however the process hasn’t found wide popularity with the public.

Alkaline hydrolysis was legalized in a number of states towards the beginning of the last decade. While the legislative landscape is now not moving as quickly as it is for human composting, bills to legalize alkaline hydrolysis have passed as recently as 2020.

What is alkaline hydrolysis?

Alkaline hydrolysis is an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. This disposition method typically uses heat, pressure, water and lye in a dedicated hydrolysis chamber. The end product is a benign liquid known as hydrolysate.

The process uses a large quantity of water and is therefore sometimes known as ‘water cremation’. Alkaline hydrolysis is also referred to by other names, including ‘aquamation’, ‘resomation’, ‘biocremation’ and ‘flameless cremation’. Read about the process in this alkaline hydrolysis explainer.

Where is alkaline hydrolysis legal?

Alkaline hydrolysis was first legalized by Minnesota in 2003. Since then almost 20 other states have legalized the process.

In many of these states there are no alkaline hydrolysis facilities, even though the process is legal. This means it can be difficult to choose the process in the United States.

US State Legal Status Notes

Alabama

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Alabama since 2017

Alaska

No law yet

Arizona

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Arizona since 2023

Arkansas

No law yet

California

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in California since 2017. Natural organic reduction is also legal in California

Colorado

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Colorado since 2011. Natural organic reduction is also legal in Colorado

Connecticut

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in Connecticut as per the Substitute Senate Bill No. 142

Delaware

No law yet

Florida

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Florida since 2010

Georgia

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Georgia since 2012

Hawaii

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Hawaii since 2022

Idaho

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Idaho since 2014

Illinois

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Illinois since 2012

Indiana

No law yet

Iowa

No law yet

Kansas

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Kansas since 2010

Kentucky

No law yet

Louisiana

No law yet

Maine

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Maine since 2009

Maryland

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Maryland since 2011

Massachusetts

No law yet

Michigan

Legal

While not currently regulated, aquamation appears to be available in Michigan

Minnesota

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Minnesota since 2003

Mississippi

No law yet

Missouri

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in Missouri, with the term 'cremation' interpreted to include alkaline hydrolysis

Montana

No law yet

Nebraska

No law yet

Nevada

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Nevada since 2017

New Hampshire

Previously legal

Alkaline hydrolysis was previously legal in New Hampshire, but the law was repealed. A new bill to legalize the process failed in 2013

New Jersey

No law yet

New Mexico

No law yet

New York

No law yet

Natural organic reduction is legal in New York

North Carolina

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in North Carolina since 2018

North Dakota

No law yet

Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in North Dakota

Ohio

No law yet

Oklahoma

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Oklahoma since 2021

Oregon

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Oregon since 2009. Natural organic reduction is also legal in Oregon

Pennsylvania

No law yet

Rhode Island

No law yet

South Carolina

No law yet

South Dakota

No law yet

Tennessee

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Tennessee since 2013

Texas

No law yet

Utah

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Utah since 2018

Vermont

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Vermont since 2014. Natural organic reduction is also legal in Vermont

Virginia

Pending

Bill passed to legalize alkaline hydrolysis in Virginia in 2023

Washington

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Washington since 2020. Natural organic reduction is also legal in Washington

Washington D.C.

No law yet

West Virginia

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis is legal in West Virginia

Wisconsin

No law yet

Wyoming

Legal

Alkaline hydrolysis has been legal in Wyoming since 2014

About Earth

At Earth, we provide soil transformation services. Like alkaline hydrolysis, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation and traditional burial.

Also known as human composting or natural organic reduction, soil transformation gently transforms a body into nutrient-rich soil. Families choose how much soil they’d like returned - to scatter or plant - with the remainder sent to local conservation sites for land restoration purposes.

If you are interested in sustainable funeral practice, you can read about our services or get an instant online quote.

If you found this tracker table useful, we have another showing the legal status of soil transformation and the progress of relevant bills across the US.

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