Published March 18, 2021
Cremation has recently risen in popularity over the years and is now the first choice over traditional casket burials. It’s also the go-to choice for families that choose a calmer and more symbolic funeral.
Scattering ashes is a unique and meaningful way to lay a loved one to rest. You can bring them to the place they always wanted to visit when they were still alive.
What States Have Laws for Scattering Ashes?
So far, most states allow you to scatter ashes on private property with the owner’s consent. You can also do this in public spaces with the permission of the governing state.
Each state has its own set of laws concerning scattering ashes. Some states like Texas allow the scattering of ashes on uninhabited public lands and public waterways or seas.
Like California, you can only scatter the remains in specific cemetery gardens or public areas with no prohibition in stricter states. You will need written permission from the property owner or the governing state.
If you’re planning to scatter your loved one’s ashes over bodies of water, federal laws may come first before state laws. This law includes choosing a container that will quickly decompose.
You can also scatter their ashes while separately disposing of the container. It is illegal to release their remains in wading pools or beaches, and you should notify the EPA 30 days before scattering their remains.
Federal Clean Water Act
The Federal Clean Water Act states that you can scatter the ashes at least three nautical miles from land. It also governs the scattering at rivers or lakes inland and may require you to process and obtain permits from state agencies that manage those waterways.
However, most families choose to scatter their ashes in the air. Although there are no states that prohibit you from doing this, federal laws do not allow dropping objects in the air that might damage property or harm people.
The cremated remains of your loved ones are not hazardous materials. If you’re planning to release their ashes in the air, remember to remove the container to avoid any trouble.
There is comfort in scattering the ashes of your loved one in a place they used to love. It relieves the burden of wondering what to do with their burial urns. It would be best to take note of these laws to plan accordingly.
About The Author
Dan Walter Reyes is a professional writer for a number of renowned websites. His passion for educating led him to study topics related to many industries in depth through sleepless nights and endless articles. He hopes to share his knowledge with the world.