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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: SB21-006

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Title Human Remains Natural Reduction Soil
Status Governor Signed (05/10/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Natural Resources & Environment
  • Professions & Occupations
House Sponsors B. Titone (D)
M. Soper (R)
Senate Sponsors R. Rodriguez (D)
House Committee Energy and Environment
Senate Committee Local Government
Date Introduced 02/16/2021
Summary

The bill authorizes human remains to be converted to soil using a
container that accelerates the process of biological decomposition, also
known as natural reduction. The bill prohibits the following when done

in the course of business:
  • Selling or offering to sell the soil;
  • Commingling the soil of more than one person without the
consent of the person or persons with the right of final
disposition unless the soil is abandoned;
  • Commingling the human remains of more than one person
without the consent of the person or persons with the right
of final disposition within the container wherein natural
reduction produces soil; or
  • Using the soil to grow food for human consumption.
Current law has various provisions that deal with burial,
cremation, interment, and entombment. In connection with authorizing
natural reduction, the bill replaces these terms with the phrase final
disposition, which term is defined to include natural reduction. The
following types of provisions are updated to reflect the option to use
natural reduction:
  • Life insurance statutes;
  • Preneed funeral insurance contracts;
  • The Mortuary Science Code;
  • Funeral picketing statutes;
  • Litigation damages;
  • The Colorado Probate Code;
  • The Disposition of Last Remains Act;
  • The Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act;
  • Missing person reports for unidentified human remains;
  • Public peace and order statutes;
  • Vital statistics statutes;
  • The Colorado Public Assistance Act; and
  • Firefighter pension plans.
Natural reduction is added to the statutes that regulate funeral
establishments, and this addition will result in the regulation of the natural
reduction process. But the definitions of cremation and mortuary
science practitioner are amended so that a practitioner of natural
reduction is not regulated as a cremationist or mortuary science
practitioner.
Current law has a provision that governs the disposal of abandoned
cremated remains. The soil from natural reduction is added to this
provision, with an option to return the soil to the earth in a respectful
manner.

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