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AB-764 Human Remains.(2013-2014)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 08, 2013
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2013


Assembly Bill
No. 764

Introduced by Assembly Member Linder

February 21, 2013

An act to add and repeal Article 9 (commencing with Section 9789.1) to Chapter 19 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to human remains.


AB 764, as amended, Linder. Human Remains.
Existing law, the Cemetery Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of cemeteries, crematories, and their personnel by the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law establishes certified uniform program agencies, which are agencies certified by the Secretary for Environmental Protection to implement a specified unified program relating to hazardous waste and materials in accordance with certain requirements.
This bill would, until January 1, 2020, establish a pilot program that would authorize the bureau to issue a limited crematory license to no more than 5 alkaline hydrolysis facilities, subject to specified requirements. The bill would also set forth requirements for participation in a pilot program at University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


 Article 9 (commencing with Section 9789.1) is added to Chapter 19 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, to read:
Article  9. Hydrolysis

 For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Hydrolysis facility” means a building or structure containing one or more chambers for the reduction of bodies of deceased persons by alkaline hydrolysis.
(2) “Hydrolysis chamber” means the enclosed space within which the hydrolysis of human remains is performed and any other attached, nonenclosed, mechanical components that are necessary for the safe and proper functioning of the equipment. Allowable hydrolysis chambers for the disposition of human remains shall meet or exceed State Department of Public Health and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements for complete destruction of human pathogens.
(3) “Hydrolysis container” means a hydrolyzable closed container resistant to leakage of bodily fluids into which the body of a deceased person is placed prior to insertion in a hydrolysis chamber for alkaline hydrolysis.
(4) “Hydrolyzed remains” means bone fragments of a human body that are left after hydrolysis in a hydrolysis facility. “Hydrolyzed remains” does not include foreign materials, pacemakers, or prostheses.
(5) “Hydrolyzed remains container” means a receptacle in which hydrolyzed remains are placed after hydrolysis.
(6) “Hydrolysis” means the process by which the following three steps are taken:
(A) The reduction of the body of a deceased person to its essential chemical components by alkaline hydrolysis. Alkaline hydrolysis is a chemical process using heat or heat and applied pressure, water, and potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide to dissolve human tissue within a hydrolysis container.
(B) Wherever possible, the least amount of potassium hydroxide that is still effective for complete dissolution of the remains shall be used within the hydrolysis container, to minimize the downstream environmental impact of the effluent and to maximize worker safety.
(C) The processing of the remains after removal from the hydrolysis chamber pursuant to Section 7010.3 of the Health and Safety Code.

 (a) Nothing in this chapter, Chapter 12, or any other law, shall be construed to prohibit a hydrolysis facility from engaging in the practice of alkaline hydrolysis of human remains when authorized as part of the pilot program authorized by this section.
(b) The bureau is authorized to issue a limited crematory license to an alkaline a hydrolysis facility subject to the following:
(1) The bureau may issue limited crematory licenses to no more than five alkaline hydrolysis facilities.
(2) Each alkaline hydrolysis facility shall meet the following requirements:
(A) The alkaline hydrolysis facility shall be managed by a licensed crematory manager, who has been certified as having received training by the hydrolysis manufacturer, as approved by the bureau.
(B) The alkaline hydrolysis facility shall comply with local all applicable water treatment and wastewater control laws.
(C) The alkaline hydrolysis facility shall present to the bureau any locally required permits for business operations and appropriate state tax documentation.
(c) A licensed alkaline hydrolysis facility shall submit to annual inspections by the bureau and any certified uniform program agency. The facility may be additionally inspected at any time by the bureau.
(d) Article 6.5 (commencing with Section 9740) and Article 8 (commencing with Section 9780) shall apply to the alkaline hydrolysis of human remains authorized through the pilot program by this section.

 The requirements of Division 7 (commencing with Section 7000) of the Health and Safety Code apply to this article as follows:
(1) The requirements related to the operation of crematories apply to a hydrolysis facility authorized by this article.
(2) The requirements related to cremated remains shall apply to hydrolyzed remains authorized by this article.

 This article shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2020, deletes or extends that date.