Where is Aquamation legal? Which states have legalized Aquamation or Bio Cremation?

Aquamation does basically what it says on the tin and disposes of a body by using water instead of flame.  It is, therefore, deemed a more natural, ethical, and environmentally-friendly alternative to cremation or burial. It is also referred to as water cremation, hydro cremation, or bio cremation. The scientific term for the process is alkaline hydrolysis and it was invented in the late 19th century for use on livestock.

Alkaline hydrolysis is currently legal in 20 states, however this number is constantly in flux as statutes change or are even repealed in some cases. We expect to see that more states will begin to pass legislation on aquamation as the demand for a greener alternative to flame cremation increases. Not to mention the fact that gas prices continue to be on the rise.

To find out more about aquamation, read our post “Aquamation or Resomation: A ‘Green’ Alternative to the traditional Funeral”.

StateCurrent Status 2021Further Details
AlabamaLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Alabama in 2017, when statute added alkaline hydrolysis to its definition of cremation.
AlaskaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Alaska.
ArizonaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Arizona.
ArkansasNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Arkansas.
CaliforniaLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in 2017 in California and the law went into effect in 2020  (Section 7611.9 of the California Business and Professions Code).
ColoradoLegal without explicit statuteAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in 2011 in Colorado when the state changed the definition of cremation  (Colorado Statutes § 12-54-102.)
ConnecticutLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis is legal in in Connecticut as seen in the Substitute Senate Bill No. 142. It is available in some funeral homes.
DelawareNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Delaware.
FloridaLegal and available in stateFlorida was one of the first states to legalize alkaline hydrolysis by gradually expanding its definition of “cremation” to include methods not pertaining to incineration (Florida Statutes § 497.005.). It is available in several funeral homes.
GeorgiaLegal without explicit statuteAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in 2012 in Georgia, when they changed the state’s definition of cremation (Ga. Code Ann. 43-18-1.). However, not many funeral homes offer aquamation still.
HawaiiNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Hawaii.
IdahoLegal but not available in stateAlthough alkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Idaho in 2014, when the Senate Commerce & Human Resources Committee amended the Rules of the State Board of Morticians, no funeral homes currently offer aquamation.
IllinoisLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in 2012 in Illinois, when they changed the state’s definition of cremation to include the process (See 410 ILCS § 18/5.). Several funeral homes now offer aquamation.
IndianaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Indiana.
IowaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Iowa.
KansasLegal but not available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Kansas in 2011, when the state expanded its definition of cremation to include other methods than just “direct exposure to intense heat and flame” (Kansas Statutes § 65-1760.). No funeral homes in Kansas currently offer aquamation, however, it is offered in Kansas City, Missouri.
KentuckyNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Kentucky.
LouisianaNo Legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Louisiana.
MaineLegal without explicit statuteAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Maine in 2009, when the Attorney General approved a new definition of cremation in the   Maine Rules for Establishment and Operation of Crematoria. There is currently one facility in Maine that offers aquamation services to funeral homes throughout the state.
MarylandLegal but not available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Maryland in 2010, when the state changed the definition of cremation to include processes other than heat and flame  (Maryland Business Regulation Code § 5-101.). However, there is currently no facility in Maryland offering the process for human remains.
MassachusettsNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Massachusetts.
MichiganLegal status currently unknownAlkaline hydrolysis appears to be offered by some funeral homes in Michigan, however there are no statutes or regulations that explicitly allow it.
MinnesotaLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Minnesota in 2003 when the process was given licensing regulations and requirements. Several funeral homes currently offer aquamation in Minnesota.
MississippiNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Mississippi.
MissouriLegal without explicit statuteThere are no laws/ statutes explicitly allowing alkaline hydrolysis in Missouri, however the process is considered a legal final disposition method as it falls within the states definition of “cremation” (See 20 CSR 2120-2.071). Several funeral homes offer aquamation in Missouri.
MontanaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Montana.
NebraskaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Nebraska.
NevadaLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Nevada in 2017 when the Assembly Bill 205 was passed which included a specific definition of alkaline hydrolysis. Several funeral homes offer aquamation in Nevada.
New HampshireWas legal but no longer legalAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in New Hampshire in 2006 before being repealed in 2008. There was an effort to pass a new bill in 2013 but this failed. One funeral home in Jaffrey currently works with a facility in Maine and sends human remains there to be legally processed.
New JerseyNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in New Jersey.
New MexicoNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in New Mexico.
New YorkNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in New York.
North CarolinaLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in North Carolina in 2018, when N.C. Gen. Stat. § 90-210.136 came into effect.  
North DakotaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in North Dakota.
OhioNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Ohio.
OklahomaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Oklahoma.
OregonLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Oregon in 2009, when the state changed its definition of “final disposition” to include dissolution of human remains  (Oregon Revised Statutes § 692.010(4).) Aquamation is regulated by the state’s Mortuary and Cemetery Board and several funeral homes currently offer aquamation in Oregon.  
PennsylvaniaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Pennsylvania.
Rhode IslandNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Rhode Island.
South CarolinaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in South Carolina.
South DakotaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in South Dakota.
TennesseeNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Tennessee.
TexasNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Texas.
UtahLegal and available in stateUtah passed a bill specifically allowing alkaline hydrolysis in 2018. Utah Aquamation in Tooele is currently the only facility offering alkaline hydrolysis and works with funeral homes in Utah to providing the service.
VermontLegal but not available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Vermont in 2014 (26 V.S.A. 21 § 1211). To perform the process, individuals must obtain a license by the state and are thus subject to rules by the state licensing board. However, there are currently no funeral homes offering aquamation in Vermont.  
VirginiaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Virginia.
WashingtonLegal and available in stateAlkaline hydrolysis was legalized in Washington in 2020, when the state passed a law allowing for it (See RCW 68.50.110). It is currently available in Seattle for both humans and pets.  
Washington D.C.No legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Washington D.C.
West VirginiaNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in West Virginia.
WisconsinNo legislation passedThere is currently no legislation or regulations for alkaline hydrolysis in Wisconsin.
WyomingLegal but not available in stateWyoming changed the Funeral Services Practitioners Act in 2014 to include “chemical disposition” (Wyoming Statutes § 33-16-502.) However, there is currently no facility offering the process for human remains in Wyoming.  

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Andrew joined the team at US Funerals in 2017. He heads up the content management for the website.