Where is human composting legal?

Tracker: Where Is Human Composting Legal In The US?

By: Team Earth

Aug 09, 2022 | Soil Transformation | Green Funeral Practice

3 min read

Note: The table on this page is kept up to date to reflect the legal status of human composting in each state in the US. It can be considered an accurate snapshot of the legislative landscape at any given time.

Human composting is growing rapidly in popularity as a green funeral option, but is not yet legal and available in all states.

Human composting is referred to as natural organic reduction in legislation, and is commonly known elsewhere as soil transformation.

As an environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation and burial, the process is appealing to the huge number of people concerned about their impact on our planet. Human composting is also a gentle and natural process that can aid conservation efforts, and therefore represents a return to nature that resonates with many.

In recent years, the legislative landscape has followed this growing interest and ten states have either legalized human composting or are currently formally considering legalization. Bodies can also be legally transported across state lines, which makes human composting possible for residents of states where the process isn’t yet legal.

Bills can be proposed multiple times. If a bill does not pass in a legislative session, it can simply be reintroduced in the next session. This has been the case with human composting bills in multiple states.

What is Human Composting?

Human composting is a natural, eco-friendly alternative to traditional funeral practices. The process gently transforms a body into nutrient-rich soil over a 45-day period.

The cubic yard of healthy soil produced is perfect for conserving and restoring land. This means that families can use some of the soil for memorialization and the rest can be used for conservation projects. Soil health is fundamental for reforestation, erosion control and revitalizing challenged ecosystems.

Human composting is therefore friendly to the environment both during and after the actual process.

Where is Human Composting Legal?

All disposition methods are strictly regulated in the US. Legislation must expressly provide for natural organic reduction, which means states must actively change their laws to allow for the process.

In states where the process is legal, operators must obtain a license from the state’s funeral regulator before providing services.

Washington was the first state to legalize the process in 2019, with the law taking effect in May 2020. Since then, other states have followed and, with momentum building, further states are expected to do the same.

US State Legal Status Notes

Alabama

No law yet

Alaska

No law yet

Arizona

No law yet

Arkansas

No law yet

California

Legal. Rulemaking underway

Bill AB-351 was signed into law on September 18, 2022. The law will take effect in 2027

Colorado

Legal

Bill SB21-006 passed final passage in April 2021 and was signed into law in May 2021. The law took effect on August 8 2021. Human composting is available in state

Connecticut

No law yet

Delaware

Bill has been introduced

Bill HB165 was introduced in April 2021

Florida

No law yet

Georgia

No law yet

Hawaii

Bill did not pass

Bill HB680 was introduced in January 2021, but did not pass

Idaho

No law yet

Illinois

Bill has been introduced

Bill HB4552 was introduced in January 2022

Indiana

No law yet

Iowa

No law yet

Kansas

No law yet

Kentucky

No law yet

Louisiana

No law yet

Maine

Bill did not pass

Bill LD1535 was introduced in April 2021, but did not pass

Maryland

No law yet

Massachusetts

Bill in progress

Bill H4036 is currently in progress

Michigan

No law yet

Minnesota

Bill has been introduced

Bill HF3466 is currently in progress. A separate Bill SF3045 was also introduced in February 2022

Mississippi

No law yet

Missouri

No law yet

Montana

No law yet

Nebraska

No law yet

Nevada

No law yet

New Hampshire

No law yet

New Jersey

No law yet

New Mexico

No law yet

New York

Bill in progress

Bill A382 is currently in progress. Bill S5535 has passed the House and Senate, and is awaiting the Governor's signature

North Carolina

No law yet

North Dakota

No law yet

Ohio

No law yet

Oklahoma

No law yet

Oregon

Legal

Bill HB 2574 passed final passage and was signed into law in June 2021. The law took effect on January 1 2022. Human composting is available in state and services are offered by Earth

Pennsylvania

No law yet

Rhode Island

No law yet

South Carolina

No law yet

South Dakota

No law yet

Tennessee

No law yet

Texas

No law yet

Utah

No law yet

Vermont

Legal. Rulemaking underway

Bill H.244 passed final passage in May 2022 and was signed into law in June 2022. The law will take effect on January 1 2023

Virginia

No law yet

Washington

Legal

Bill SB5001 passed final passage in April 2019 and was signed into law in May 2019. The law took effect on May 1 2020. Human composting is available in state and services are offered by Earth

Washington D.C.

No law yet

West Virginia

No law yet

Wisconsin

No law yet

Wyoming

No law yet

About Earth

At Earth, we call our proprietary human composting process ‘soil transformation’. We operate from the largest and most advanced facility in the world, and our services are currently available in Washington and Oregon.

We offer services for those who have an immediate need, as well as those looking to plan ahead for the future.

If you are interested in our human composting services, you can get a personalized quote here. We also have a number of useful articles in our Guide, covering green funeral practices, end-of-life planning and more.

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