Where is terramation legal?

Tracker: Where Is Terramation Legal In The US?

By: Team Earth

Apr 17, 2024 | Green Funeral Practice

3 min read

Note: This table is updated regularly to reflect the legal status of terramation across the US. It is an accurate snapshot of the legislative landscape at any given time.

Terramation, another word for human composting, first became legal in the United States when Washington passed SB5001 in 2019. Since then, several states have adopted bills allowing for the natural transformation of bodies into soil, and many more have bills in progress to legalize the process.

As a relatively new option in the death care industry, access to terramation across the country is still limited, but we’re seeing huge demand for human composting in all 50 states as more people are beginning to prioritize the importance of carbon-neutral end-of-life options that give back to the earth. This demand is inspiring new legislation and exciting progress. Here at Earth, we’ve worked closely with state representatives to help promote human composting bills and better inform the public about its benefits.

As the legal status of terramation is determined state by state, understanding where and when it’s available can be confusing. We created this tracker to keep all of that information in one place.

What is terramation?

Terramation is the process of transforming a body into soil using the principles of nature. It is a comforting option for anyone who is concerned about the environment and for those who want their body returned to nature after death.

You’ll see multiple terms used interchangeably with human composting, including terramation, natural organic reduction, recomposition, and soil transformation. All of these terms refer to the process of placing a body in a vessel with organic materials, like mulch and wood chips, then carefully monitoring the conditions while naturally occurring microbes transform the body into nutrient-rich soil.

The end result is about a cubic yard of soil which families can use to memorialize their loved ones in ways that are unique to the individual and beneficial to the environment. Many choose to plant memorial gardens or trees. The soil can even be used to help restore delicate ecosystems and support conservation projects.

Where is terramation legal?

Burial, cremation, terramation, and other methods of disposition are all closely regulated in the United States. For terramation to be legalized, states must first draft new legislation that includes natural organic reduction.

Once a state has legalized human composting, operators must obtain a license from the state’s funeral regulator before providing services.

Momentum is building nationwide, with multiple bills progressing through the legislative process. We track every bill legalizing terramation, here:

US State Legal Status Notes

Alabama

No law yet

Alaska

No law yet

Arizona

Legal

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed HB 2081 into law

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. Terramation is available in state

Connecticut

Bill in progress

Bill HB05354 is in progress

Delaware

Legal

Bill HB162 was signed into law in May 2024

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 in progress

Bill HB3158 is in progress

Indiana

No law yet

Iowa

No law yet

Kansas

No law yet

Kentucky

No law yet

Louisiana

No law yet

Maine

Bill in progress

Bill LD536 is currently in progress

Maryland

Legal

Governor Wes Moore signed bill HB1028 into law in May 2024

Massachusetts

Bill in progress

Bill S1451 is currently in progress

Michigan

No law yet

Minnesota

Bill has been introduced

Bill HF2669 was introduced in January 2023 and Bill SF3134 was introduced in March 2023

Mississippi

No law yet

Missouri

Bill has been introduced

Bill HB2706 was introduced in February 2024

Montana

No law yet

Nebraska

No law yet

Nevada

Legal

Bill AB289 was signed into law in May 2023

New Hampshire

Bill in progress

Bill HB1324-FN was introduced in January 2024

New Jersey

Bill in progress

Bill A4085/S3007 is currently in progress

New Mexico

No law yet

New York

Legal

Bill A382 was signed into law on December 31, 2022. The law will take effect after the regulatory process is complete

North Carolina

No law yet

North Dakota

No law yet

Ohio

No law yet

Oklahoma

Bill in progress

Bill SB1637 was introduced in February 2024

Oregon

Legal

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

Pennsylvania

Bill did not pass

Bill HB2916 was introduced in September 2022 but did not pass

Rhode Island

Bill has been introduced

Bill HB 7212 was introduced in January 2024

South Carolina

No law yet

South Dakota

No law yet

Tennessee

No law yet

Texas

No law yet

Utah

Bill in progress

Bill SB-102 was introduced in January 2024

Vermont

Legal

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

Virginia

Bill has been introduced

Bill HJ513 was introduced in January 2023. The Bill directs the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers to study natural organic reduction and develop recommendations for establishing facilities

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. Terramation is available in state and human composting 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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