2021 - 2022 LEGISLATURE
March 24, 2021 - Introduced by Senators Testin,
L. Taylor, Carpenter, Kooyenga
and Ringhand, cosponsored by Representatives Novak,
Armstrong, Bowen, Callahan, Kitchens, Krug, Moses, L. Myers, J.
Rodriguez, Rozar, Skowronski and Stubbs. Referred to Committee on
1An Act to renumber and amend
440.70 (6) and 440.78 (3) (c); to amend
(5) and 440.80 (2) (b); and to create
440.70 (6) (b), 440.70 (6m), 440.78 (3) (c) 3
2. and 440.78 (5m) of the statutes;
relating to: the use of alkaline hydrolysis
4to cremate human remains and providing an exemption from emergency rule
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under this bill, a person may use the process of alkaline hydrolysis to cremate
human remains only if the person is registered as a crematory authority by the
Department of Safety and Professional Services. Alkaline hydrolysis is a process
that uses water, alkaline chemicals, pressure, and heat to reduce human remains for
final disposition. The bill places the use of alkaline hydrolysis for cremating human
remains under generally the same requirements that apply under current law to
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
440.70 (5) of the statutes is amended to read:
“Cremated remains" means human remains recovered from the 2
cremation of a human body or body part and the residue of a container or foreign 3
materials that were cremated with the body or body part, but excludes the sterile
4liquid resulting from cremation by alkaline hydrolysis
440.70 (6) of the statutes is renumbered 440.70 (6) (intro.) and 6
amended to read:
(intro.) “Cremation" means any of
process of using heat and flame
to reduce human remains to bone 9
fragments and includes, including
processing or pulverizing the bone fragments.
440.70 (6) (b) of the statutes is created to read:
(b) Cremation by alkaline hydrolysis.
440.70 (6m) of the statutes is created to read:
“Cremation by alkaline hydrolysis” means the process of using 14
water, alkaline chemicals, pressure, and heat to reduce human remains to bone 15
fragments, including processing or pulverizing the bone fragments.
440.78 (3) (c) of the statutes is renumbered 440.78 (3) (c) 1. and 17
amended to read:
(c) 1. A Except as provided under subd. 2., a
container may be used 19
to hold human remains that are to be cremated only if the container is composed of 20
readily combustible materials that are resistant to leakage and spillage, has the 21
ability to be closed for complete covering of the human remains, is sufficiently rigid 22
to provide ease in handling, and is able to protect the health and safety of crematory 23
440.78 (3) (c) 2. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 2. A container may be used to hold human remains that are to 2
be cremated by alkaline hydrolysis only if the container is biodegradable and opaque 3
and satisfies subd. 1.
440.78 (5m) of the statutes is created to read:
440.78 (5m) Destruction of pathogens.
If a crematory authority cremates 6
human remains by alkaline hydrolysis, the crematory authority shall during the 7
cremation process destroy the pathogens in the cremation chamber. The department 8
shall promulgate rules to establish requirements for complying with this subsection.
440.80 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Disposing of the remains in any other lawful manner that does
11not harm the environment
, but only if the remains are reduced to a particle size of 12
one-eighth inch or less.
(1) Emergency rules.
Using the procedure under s. 227.24, the department of 15
safety and professional services may promulgate rules to implement this act under 16
ss. 440.78 and 440.84 for the period before the effective date of the permanent rules 17
promulgated under ss. 440.78 and 440.84 but not to exceed the period authorized 18
under s. 227.24 (1) (c), subject to extension under s. 227.24 (2). Notwithstanding s. 19
227.24 (1) (a), (2) (b), and (3), the department of safety and professional services is 20
not required to provide evidence that promulgating a rule under this subsection as 21
an emergency rule is necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, 22
safety, or welfare and is not required to provide a finding of emergency for a rule 23
promulgated under this subsection.