According to regulations (40CFR 229.1) based on the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuary Act of 1972, human remains transported from U.S. ports or on U.S. vessels or aircraft may be buried at sea under specified conditions. These include cremated as well as non-cremated remains. Requirements for burying remains at sea are listed below. Please note the requirement that the (EPA) be notified within 30 days after burial.
Preparation for burial. Human remains shall be prepared for burial at sea and buried in accordance with accepted practices and requirements as may be deemed appropriate and desirable by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, or civil authority charged with the responsibility for making such arrangements. For example, local health departments may require burial or cremation permits.
Disposal location and measures. Cremated remains shall be buried in or on ocean waters without regard to the depth limitations provided that such burial take place at least 3 nautical miles from land.
Decomposable flowers and wreaths. Flowers and wreaths consisting of materials that are readily decomposable in the marine environment may be placed at the burial site.
Notice to EPA within 30 days. All burials conducted shall be reported within 30 days to the EPA Region in writing.
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