Nevada Becomes Seventh State to Legalize Natural Organic Reduction
On May 30, Nevada governor Joe Lombardo quietly signed Assembly Bill 289 into law, making his state the latest to legalize disposition by natural organic reduction (NOR). Appropriately, the Silver State became lucky number seven on the list of NOR-legal states after New York claimed spot number six on December 30, 2022.
“We were actually not at all surprised by Nevada being the seventh state to legalize the terramation (human composting) process, as we have received umpteen inquiries from that area,” says Brie Smith of Return Home, which was among the first outlets to share the news of Nevada’s approval. “It is more clear than ever that consumers want alternative end of life options, and the ability to serve these families locally continues to expand. The speed at which these bills are passing is truly unprecedented! The team at Return Home is honored to be a continued resource to both the funeral industry and consumers in Nevada.”
Introduced in mid-March by Representative Max Carter, Nevada’s legislation was co-sponsored by five additional members of the Assembly and Senate. A member of the state’s Sierra Club also submitted a letter of support in early May.
“The Sierra Club sees the option for Natural Organic Reduction as an excellent way for the industry to reduce fossil fuel consumption, while providing another choice for people and their families,” wrote Chris Bell, a Sierra Club volunteer and representative. “It will also relax pressures on very long-term land allocations and formaldehyde contamination that ground burial poses.”
AB289 virtually sailed through both the Nevada Assembly and the Senate, with only four of 42 voting Assembly members and one of 21 Senators voting against the measure.
Interestingly, the bill amended Nevada law to include NOR as a method of cremation by adding the words “or soil” and “natural organic reduction” to the existing definition. The new legal definition of cremation in the state is the “technical process that reduces human remains to bone fragments or soil by using alkaline hydrolysis, incineration, or natural organic reduction.”