House Substitute 1 for House Bill 162

152nd General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Senate Health & Social Services 1/23/24
Awaiting consideration in Committee

Bill Details

6/22/23
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLES 9, 12, 16, 24, AND 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO HUMAN REMAINS.
House Bill 162 authorizes the process of natural organic reduction to be used in this State. Natural organic reduction is the gentle, respectful process that accelerates the decomposition of human remains to soil. This process uses large vessels to hold human remains together with straw, wood chips, or other natural materials for about 30 days. The human remains and organic materials, mixed together with warm air, are periodically turned and the process eventually results in reduction of the human remains to a soil material that can then be provided to the deceased individual's family. Natural organic reduction is considered a more eco-friendly cremation alternative, forgoing the usage of formaldehyde and the release of carbon dioxide and mercury into the atmosphere. The process also uses 1/8 the energy of cremation. Section 3 removes "and by the Attorney General or a deputy attorney general" from § 3163 of Title 16, which was overlooked when Chapter 164 of Volume 68 of the Laws of Delaware was enacted, removing similar language in § 3159 of Title 16. Section 12 of this Act replaces the citation to § 3162 of Title 16 with a citation to § 3159. Section 3162 was transferred to § 3159 when Chapter 31 was reenacted by Chapter 274 of Volume 68 of the Laws of Delaware, but this citation was overlooked. This Act takes effect the earlier of 1 year from the date of the Act's enactment or notice in the Register of Regulations that final regulations to implement this Act have been adopted. This Act also makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. This Act requires a greater than majority vote for passage because § 28 of Article IV of the Delaware Constitution requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members elected to each house of the General Assembly to expand the scope of an existing crime within the jurisdiction of the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court, or Justice of the Peace Court. This Substitute No. 1 to HB 162 adds requirements to those already set forth in HB 162 for natural organic reduction facilities and changes the permissible chemical limits for final remains after natural organic reduction. This Substitute also sets forth circumstances that preclude remains from being admitted to a natural organic reduction facility. This Substitute defines “final remains” and “last remains” identically in Title 12 of the Delaware Code to allow for the use of either phrase throughout that Title. This Substitute also makes typographical and technical corrections to conform existing and drafted law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
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