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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.356

Introduced by Representatives Lippert of Hinesburg and Orr of Charlotte

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Health; burials  

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to eliminate the requirement that bodies be buried at least five feet below ground.

AN ACT RELATING TO BURIAL

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. § 5319 is amended to read:

§ 5319.  DISPOSITION OF REMAINS OF DEAD

(a)  The permanent disposition of the remains of the human dead shall be by interment in the earth or deposit in a chamber, vault, or tomb formed wholly or partly above the surface of the ground of a cemetery conducted and maintained pursuant to the laws of the state, by deposit in a crypt of a mausoleum or by cremation.  However, this shall not be construed to prevent a private individual from setting aside a portion of his or her premises owned in fee by him or her, and using the same as a burial space for the members of his or her immediate family, so long as his the use for such purpose is not in violation of the health laws and regulations of the state and the town in which such land is situated.

(b)  No interment of any human body in the earth shall be made unless the distance from the bottom of the outside coffin shall be at least five feet below the natural surface of the ground, excepting only infants under four years of age, whose bodies shall be so interred that the bottom of the outside coffin enclosing them shall be at least three and one-half feet below the natural surface of the ground.

(c)  No deposit of the remains of the human dead shall be made in a single chamber, vault, or tomb wholly or partly above the surface of the ground unless the part thereof below the natural surface of the ground be of a permanent character, constructed of materials capable of withstanding extreme climatic conditions, be waterproof and air tight, and can be sealed permanently so as to prevent all escape of effluvia.  That portion of the same above the natural surface of the ground shall be constructed of natural stone of a standard not less than that required by the United States government for monuments erected in national cemeteries, of durability sufficient to withstand all conditions of weather, and of a character to insure its permanence.

(d)(c)  The remains of a human body after cremation may be deposited in a niche of a columbarium, in a crypt of a mausoleum, or be buried or disposed of in any manner not contrary to law.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us