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A00382 Summary:

COSPNSRRosenthal L, Jacobson, Colton, Quart, Gottfried, Vanel, Hevesi, Fahy, Lupardo, Kelles, Wallace, Lunsford, Forrest, Gallagher, Stirpe, Gonzalez-Rojas, Cymbrowitz, Reyes, Sayegh, Lavine, Mamdani
Amd 1502, 1503, 1508 & 1510, add 1505-b & 1518, N-PC L
Provides for the creation, operation, and duties of natural organic reduction facilities as cemetery corporations for the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.
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A00382 Actions:

01/06/2021referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
01/12/2021reported referred to codes
02/11/2021advanced to third reading cal.92
01/05/2022ordered to third reading cal.29
06/01/2022passed assembly
06/01/2022delivered to senate
06/02/2022SUBSTITUTED FOR S5535
06/02/20223RD READING CAL.1189
12/19/2022delivered to governor
12/30/2022signed chap.817
12/30/2022approval memo.98
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A00382 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 6, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. PAULIN, L. ROSENTHAL, JACOBSON, COLTON, QUART,
          GOTTFRIED -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. GALEF  --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
        AN  ACT  to amend the not-for-profit corporation law, in relation to the
          creation, operation, and duties of natural organic  reduction  facili-
          ties as cemetery corporations
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Paragraphs (a), (m), (n) and (o) of  section  1502  of  the
     2  not-for-profit corporation law, paragraph (a) as added by chapter 871 of
     3  the laws of 1977, paragraphs (m), (n) and (o) as added by chapter 579 of
     4  the  laws  of  2006,  are amended and two new paragraphs (t) and (u) are
     5  added to read as follows:
     6    (a) The term "cemetery corporation" means any corporation formed under
     7  a general or special law for the disposal or burial  of  deceased  human
     8  beings,  by cremation, natural organic reduction or in a grave, mausole-
     9  um, vault, columbarium or other receptacle but does not include a family
    10  cemetery corporation or a private cemetery corporation.
    11    (m) The term "holding facility" or "temporary storage facility"  means
    12  an  area that (i) is designated for the retention of human remains prior
    13  to cremation or natural organic reduction; (ii) complies with all appli-
    14  cable public health laws, (iii) preserves the health and safety  of  the
    15  crematory  or  natural organic reduction facility personnel; and (iv) is
    16  secure from access by anyone other than authorized persons. The interior
    17  of such facility shall not be visible from any area  accessible  to  the
    18  general public.
    19    (n)  The  [term] terms "cremation permit" [means] and "natural organic
    20  reduction permit" mean the burial and removal permit  required  pursuant
    21  to section forty-one hundred forty-five of the public health law that is

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 382                              2
     1  annotated  for  disposition  of the remains of a deceased human being by
     2  cremation or natural organic reduction.
     3    (o)  The  [term]  terms "cremation authorization" [means] and "natural
     4  organic reduction authorization" mean the crematory or  natural  organic
     5  reduction  form  authorizing  a  cremation  or natural organic reduction
     6  which is signed by the next of kin or authorizing agent. This  crematory
     7  or natural organic reduction form must be a separate document and cannot
     8  be a part of another form or document.
     9    (t) The term "natural organic reduction" means the contained, acceler-
    10  ated conversion of human remains to soil.
    11    (u)  The  term "natural organic reduction facility" means a structure,
    12  room, or other space in a building or real property where natural organ-
    13  ic reduction of a human body occurs.
    14    § 2. Section 1503 of the not-for-profit corporation law, as separately
    15  amended by chapters 579 and 580 of the laws of 2006, is amended to  read
    16  as follows:
    17  § 1503. Application.
    18    (a)  Except  as  otherwise  provided in paragraph (b) of this section,
    19  section fifteen hundred five-b, paragraph (c) of section fifteen hundred
    20  seven, [and] paragraph (m) of section fifteen hundred ten,  and  section
    21  fifteen  hundred  eighteen of this article does not apply to (1) a reli-
    22  gious corporation, (2) a municipal corporation, (3)  a  cemetery  corpo-
    23  ration  owning  a  cemetery  operated, supervised or controlled by or in
    24  connection with a religious corporation or (4) a cemetery belonging to a
    25  religious  or  a  municipal  corporation,  or  operated,  supervised  or
    26  controlled  by  or in connection with a religious corporation unless any
    27  officer, member or employee of any such corporation shall receive or may
    28  be lawfully entitled to receive any pecuniary profit from the operations
    29  thereof, other than reasonable compensation for  services  in  effecting
    30  one  or  more of the purposes of such corporation or as proper benefici-
    31  aries of its strictly charitable purposes or unless the organization  of
    32  any  such  corporation  for  any  of  its  avowed purposes be a guise or
    33  pretense for directly or indirectly making any  other  pecuniary  profit
    34  for  such corporation, or for any of its officers, members or employees,
    35  and unless any such corporation is not,  in  good  faith,  organized  or
    36  conducted exclusively for one or more of its stated purposes.
    37    (b)  All  crematories or natural organic reduction facilities shall be
    38  subject to inspection by the division of  cemeteries.  Upon  inspection,
    39  the  crematory  or  natural  organic  reduction facility may be asked to
    40  produce any and all records for the operation  and  maintenance  of  the
    41  crematory  or  natural  organic  reduction facility.   These records may
    42  include but not be limited to cremation  or  natural  organic  reduction
    43  authorizations, rules and regulations of the crematory or natural organ-
    44  ic  reduction  facility,  procedures  as  set  forth  in section fifteen
    45  hundred seventeen of this article, and  the  written  procedure  of  the
    46  identification of remains.
    47    §  3.  The  not-for-profit  corporation law is amended by adding a new
    48  section 1505-b to read as follows:
    49  § 1505-b. Additional requirements for incorporation of  natural  organic
    50              reduction facilities.
    51    (a) Approval. A cemetery corporation seeking the approval to operate a
    52  natural  organic  reduction  facility  shall  submit for approval by the
    53  cemetery board the following:
    54    (1) a list of the directors, employees, and certificate holders of the
    55  cemetery corporation;

        A. 382                              3
     1    (2) a certified survey of the site and location within the  county  it
     2  will be situated;
     3    (3) a business plan for the operation of the natural organic reduction
     4  facility  to  include, but not be limited to, number of expected natural
     5  organic reductions per year, number of natural organic reduction  units,
     6  manufacture,  capital costs, financing, anticipated number of employees,
     7  types of services provided, pricing thereof;
     8    (4) a description of  the  impact  of  the  proposed  natural  organic
     9  reduction  facility  on  other  natural organic reduction facilities, if
    10  any, within the county;
    11    (5) plans, designs, and costs of  any  structures  to  be  erected  or
    12  retrofitted for the natural organic reduction facility use; and
    13    (6)  a  description  of  any approvals or permits required by state or
    14  local law. No natural organic reduction facility shall be approved until
    15  such other approvals or permits have been obtained.
    16    (b) Further information. Within thirty-five days following receipt  of
    17  the  information required by paragraph (a) of this section, the cemetery
    18  board or the division of cemeteries may request from the cemetery corpo-
    19  ration any additional information or documentation and technical assist-
    20  ance deemed necessary to review such information. Such information shall
    21  not be deemed complete until the requested  additional  information  has
    22  been  received.  If  no  such  request  is made, the submission shall be
    23  deemed complete on the thirty-fifth day after its receipt by  the  divi-
    24  sion of cemeteries.
    25    (c)  Determination.  The  cemetery  board  shall  approve  or deny the
    26  proposed natural organic reduction facility within ninety  days  of  the
    27  completed submission.
    28    (d)  Notification.  The cemetery board shall provide written notice of
    29  its determination to the cemetery corporation.  If a  negative  determi-
    30  nation  is  made,  such notice shall state the reasons therefor.  Notice
    31  shall be made by registered or certified mail addressed to the  cemetery
    32  corporation at its principal office.
    33    §  4.  Paragraph (c) of section 1508 of the not-for-profit corporation
    34  law, as amended by chapter 579 of the laws of 2006, is amended  to  read
    35  as follows:
    36    (c)  Cemetery  payment  for  administration. To defray the expenses of
    37  examination and administration,  each  cemetery  corporation  shall  not
    38  later  than  March  fifteenth in each calendar year, pay to the cemetery
    39  board the sum of three dollars per interment and  cremation  or  natural
    40  organic  reduction  in excess of fifteen interments [or], cremations, or
    41  natural organic reductions for the preceding calendar year. No  contrib-
    42  ution shall be collected upon the interment of the [cremains] remains of
    43  a  deceased  person where a contribution was collected upon cremation or
    44  natural organic reduction.
    45    § 5. Paragraph (c) of section 1510 of the  not-for-profit  corporation
    46  law,  as  amended by chapter 579 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read
    47  as follows:
    48    (c) Record of burials, natural organic  reductions  or  cremations.  A
    49  record  shall  be  kept  of  every  burial in the cemetery of a cemetery
    50  corporation, showing the date of burial, the name,  age,  and  place  of
    51  birth  of  the person buried, when these particulars can be conveniently
    52  obtained, and the lot, plot, or part thereof, in which such  burial  was
    53  made.  A  copy  of  such record, duly certified by the secretary of such
    54  corporation, shall be furnished on  demand  and  payment  of  such  fees
    55  therefor  as  are  allowed  the  county  clerk  for  certified copies of
    56  records. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, all  ceme-

        A. 382                              4
     1  tery corporations which conduct cremations or natural organic reductions
     2  shall  maintain  permanent  records  of  the  name of the deceased human
     3  being, the funeral home  from  which  the  remains  were  received,  the
     4  receipt of delivery of the deceased human remains, the authorizing agent
     5  for the cremation or natural organic reduction, and the manner of dispo-
     6  sition  of  the  [cremains] remains. Such records may be reviewed by the
     7  division of cemeteries at any time.
     8    § 6. The not-for-profit corporation law is amended  by  adding  a  new
     9  section 1518 to read as follows:
    10  § 1518. Natural organic reduction facility operations.
    11    Cemetery corporations that operate a natural organic reduction facili-
    12  ty shall have the following duties and obligations:
    13    (a)  Maintenance and privacy. (1) A natural organic reduction facility
    14  shall be maintained in a  clean,  orderly,  and  sanitary  manner,  with
    15  adequate  ventilation  and shall have a temporary storage area available
    16  to store the remains of deceased human  beings  pending  disposition  by
    17  natural organic reduction, the interior of which shall not be accessible
    18  to the general public.
    19    (2)  Entrances  and windows of the facility shall be maintained at all
    20  times to secure privacy, including (i) doors shall be tightly closed and
    21  rigid; (ii) windows shall be  covered;  and  (iii)  entrances  shall  be
    22  locked  and  secured  when  not actively attended by authorized facility
    23  personnel.
    24    (b)  Natural  organic  reduction  process.  (1)  The  natural  organic
    25  reduction  process  shall  be  conducted  in  privacy.  No person except
    26  authorized persons shall be admitted into the  reduction  area,  holding
    27  facility,  or  the  temporary  storage  facility  while  the  remains of
    28  deceased human beings are being naturally organically  reduced.  Author-
    29  ized persons, on admittance, shall comply with all rules of the cemetery
    30  corporation and not infringe upon the privacy of the remains of deceased
    31  human beings.
    32    (2)  The  following  are  authorized persons: (i) licensed, registered
    33  funeral directors, registered residents, and enrolled students of mortu-
    34  ary science; (ii) officers and trustees  of  the  cemetery  corporation;
    35  (iii)  authorized  employees  or their authorized agents of the cemetery
    36  corporation; (iv) public officers  acting  in  the  discharge  of  their
    37  duties;  (v)  authorized  instructors of funeral directing schools; (vi)
    38  licensed physicians or nurses; and (vii) members of the immediate family
    39  of the deceased and their authorized  agents  and  designated  represen-
    40  tatives.
    41    (c)  Identification  of  deceased human beings. (1) No natural organic
    42  reduction facility shall naturally organically reduce the remains of any
    43  deceased human being without the accompanying natural organic  reduction
    44  permit, required pursuant to section forty-one hundred forty-five of the
    45  public  health law which permit shall constitute presumptive evidence of
    46  the identity of the said  remains.  In  addition,  all  natural  organic
    47  reduction  facilities situated outside the city of New York, must comply
    48  with paragraph (b) of  subdivision  two  of  section  forty-one  hundred
    49  forty-five  of  the  public health law pertaining to the receipt for the
    50  deceased human being. From the time of  such  delivery  to  the  natural
    51  organic reduction facility, until the time the natural organic reduction
    52  facility  distributes  the  remains  as  directed, the facility shall be
    53  responsible for the remains of the  deceased  human  being.  Further,  a
    54  natural  organic reduction authorization form shall accompany the permit
    55  required in section forty-one hundred forty-five of  the  public  health
    56  law. This form, provided or approved by the facility, shall be signed by

        A. 382                              5
     1  the next of kin or authorizing agent attesting to the permission for the
     2  natural organic reduction of the deceased, and disclosing to the natural
     3  organic  reduction  facility  that such body does not contain a battery,
     4  battery pack, power cell, radioactive implant, or radioactive device, if
     5  any,  and that these materials were removed prior to the natural organic
     6  reduction process.
     7    (2) Upon good cause being shown rebutting the presumption of the iden-
     8  tity of such remains, the natural organic reduction shall  not  commence
     9  until  reasonable  confirmation  of  the  identity of the deceased human
    10  being is made. This proof may be in the form of, but not limited  to,  a
    11  signed  affidavit  from  a licensed physician, a member of the family of
    12  the deceased human being, the authorizing agent or a  court  order  from
    13  the  state  supreme court within the county of the cemetery corporation.
    14  Such proof shall be provided by the authorizing agent.
    15    (3) The facility shall have a written plan to assure  that  the  iden-
    16  tification  established by the natural organic reduction permit accompa-
    17  nies the remains of the deceased human being through the natural organic
    18  reduction process and until the identity of the deceased  is  accurately
    19  and  legibly  inscribed on the container in which the remains are tempo-
    20  rarily placed.
    21    (d) Opening of a container holding the remains of the  deceased  human
    22  being.  (1)  The remains of a deceased human being shall be delivered to
    23  the natural organic reduction facility in an alternative container or in
    24  external wrappings sufficient to contain the remains and  also  designed
    25  to  fully  decompose in the natural reduction process.  Such alternative
    26  container or external wrappings holding  the  remains  of  the  deceased
    27  human  being  shall  not be opened after delivery to the natural organic
    28  reduction facility unless there exists good cause to confirm the identi-
    29  ty of the deceased, or to assure that  no  material  is  enclosed  which
    30  might  cause  injury to employees or damage to natural organic reduction
    31  facility property, or upon reasonable demand by members of the immediate
    32  family or the authorized agent.
    33    (2) In such instances in which alternative container or wrappings  are
    34  opened  after  delivery  to the natural organic reduction facility, such
    35  action shall only be conducted  by  the  licensed  funeral  director  or
    36  registered  resident  delivering the remains of the deceased human being
    37  and a record shall be made, which shall  include  the  reason  for  such
    38  action, the signature of the person authorizing the opening thereof, and
    39  the  names  of  the  person  opening  the container or wrappings and the
    40  witness thereto, which shall be retained in the permanent  file  of  the
    41  natural  organic  reduction  facility.  The  opening of the container or
    42  wrapping shall be conducted in the presence of  the  witness  and  shall
    43  comply with all rules and regulations intended to protect the health and
    44  safety of natural organic reduction facility personnel.
    45    (e)  Ceremonial  casket natural organic reduction disclosure. In those
    46  instances in which the remains of deceased human beings are to be deliv-
    47  ered to a natural organic reduction facility in a casket that is not  to
    48  be  naturally  organically  reduced with the deceased, timely disclosure
    49  thereof must be made by the person making the  funeral  arrangements  to
    50  the  natural  organic  reduction  facility that prior to natural organic
    51  reduction the remains of the deceased human being shall  be  transferred
    52  to  an alternative container. Such signed acknowledgement of the author-
    53  izing person, that  the  timely  disclosure  has  been  made,  shall  be
    54  retained  by  the  natural  organic  reduction facility in its permanent
    55  records.

        A. 382                              6
     1    (f) Transferring remains. (1) The remains of a  deceased  human  being
     2  shall not be removed from the casket, alternative container, or external
     3  wrappings  in  which  it  is  delivered to the natural organic reduction
     4  facility unless explicit, signed authorization is provided by the person
     5  making  funeral  arrangements  or by a public officer discharging his or
     6  her statutory duty, which signed authorization shall be retained by  the
     7  natural organic reduction facility in its permanent records.
     8    (2)  When  the remains of a deceased human being are to be transferred
     9  to an alternative container, the transfer shall be conducted in  privacy
    10  with  dignity and respect and by the licensed funeral director or regis-
    11  tered resident who delivered those remains. The  transferring  operation
    12  shall  comply  with  all  rules  and regulations intended to protect the
    13  health and safety of facility personnel.
    14    (g) Commingling  human  remains.  The  natural  organic  reduction  of
    15  remains  of  more than one deceased human being in a reduction container
    16  at any one time is unlawful, except upon the explicit,  signed  authori-
    17  zation  provided  by  the  persons  making  funeral arrangements and the
    18  signed approval of the natural organic reduction facility,  which  shall
    19  be  retained  by the natural organic reduction facility in its permanent
    20  records.
    21    (h) Processing of remains. (1) Upon  the  completion  of  the  natural
    22  organic reduction of the remains of a deceased human being, the interior
    23  of  the natural organic reduction container shall be thoroughly swept or
    24  otherwise cleaned so as to render the natural organic reduction contain-
    25  er reasonably free of all matter. The contents thereof shall  be  placed
    26  into  an individual container and not commingled with other remains. The
    27  natural organic reduction permit shall be  attached  to  the  individual
    28  container preparatory to final processing.
    29    (2) A magnet and sieve, or other appropriate method of separation, may
    30  be  used to divide the remains from unrecognizable incidental or foreign
    31  material.
    32    (3) The  incidental  and  foreign  material  of  the  natural  organic
    33  reduction  process  shall  be disposed of in a safe manner in compliance
    34  with all sanitary rules and regulations as byproducts.
    35    (4) The remains shall be pulverized until no single fragment is recog-
    36  nizable as skeletal tissue.
    37    (5) The pulverized remains shall be transferred to a container  or  to
    38  multiple containers, if so requested in writing by the person making the
    39  funeral  arrangements for the natural organic reduction.  Such container
    40  or containers shall have inside dimensions of suitable size  to  contain
    41  the remains of the person who was naturally organically reduced.
    42    (6)  The  prescribed  container  or containers shall be accurately and
    43  legibly labeled with the identification of the human being whose remains
    44  are contained therein, in a manner acceptable to the division  of  ceme-
    45  teries.
    46    (i) Disposition of remains. The authorizing agent shall be responsible
    47  for the final disposition of the remains. Disposition of remains result-
    48  ing  from the natural organic reduction process are not recoverable once
    49  scattered or interred.  Remains shall be disposed of by scattering  them
    50  in  a  designated  scattering  garden or area in a cemetery, or by prior
    51  authorization by the cemetery corporation, by placing them in  a  grave,
    52  crypt,  or niche, or retrieval of the remains pursuant to prior authori-
    53  zation by the authorizing agent or a person specifically  designated  by
    54  the authorizing agent.  Upon completion of the natural organic reduction
    55  process, the cemetery corporation shall notify the authorizing agent and
    56  funeral firm making such arrangements that the natural organic reduction

        A. 382                              7
     1  process  has  been  completed  and  that  the remains are prepared to be
     2  disposed of in accordance with this paragraph.   After disposition,  the
     3  cemetery  corporation  shall  be discharged from any legal obligation or
     4  liability  concerning  the  remains.  If,  after a period of one hundred
     5  twenty days from the date of the natural organic reduction, the  author-
     6  izing  agent  has not instructed the cemetery corporation to arrange for
     7  the final disposition of the remains or claimed the remains,  the  ceme-
     8  tery  corporation  may dispose of the remains in any manner permitted by
     9  this section. The cemetery corporation, however, shall keep a  permanent
    10  record  identifying the site of final disposition. The authorizing agent
    11  shall be responsible for reimbursing the cemetery  corporation  for  all
    12  reasonable expenses incurred in disposing of the remains. Upon disposing
    13  of  the  remains,  the cemetery corporation shall be discharged from any
    14  legal obligation or liability concerning the remains.   Except with  the
    15  express  written  permission  of  the authorizing agent, no person shall
    16  place remains of more than one person in the same temporary container or
    17  urn.
    18    (j) Natural organic reduction facility  operation  certification.  Any
    19  employee of a natural organic reduction whose function is to conduct the
    20  daily  operations  of the cremation or natural organic reduction process
    21  shall be certified by an organization approved by the division of  ceme-
    22  teries.  Proof  of  such  certification  shall  be posted in the natural
    23  organic reduction facility and available for inspection at any time. Any
    24  new employees of a natural organic reduction  facility  required  to  be
    25  certified under this section shall be certified within one year of their
    26  employment.  Any  employees  of  a  natural  organic  reduction facility
    27  required to be certified under this section and retained  prior  to  the
    28  effective  date  of this paragraph shall be certified within one year of
    29  such effective date. Renewal of such certification  shall  be  completed
    30  every five years from the date of certification.
    31    §  7.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    32  have become a law.
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