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Region 1: EPA New England


Photo of a  lighthouse by the sea.

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.

The United States Navy Burial at Sea Program Click icon for EPA disclaimer. provides additional information.

Non-cremated remains: Disposal location and measures.
Burial at sea of human remains that are not cremated shall take place at least 3 nautical miles from land and in water at least 600 feet deep. All necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that the remains sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently.

Cremated remains: Disposal location and measures.
Cremated remains shall be buried in or on ocean waters least 3 nautical miles from land without regard to the depth limitations as specified for non-cremated remains in the paragraph above.

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 or e-mail.

Ann Rodney (rodney.ann@epa.gov)
Burial at Sea Coordinator
US EPA Region 1
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code: OEP06-1
Boston, MA 02109-3912
(617) 918-1538

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