PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
STATE BOARD OF HEALTH
[Filed March 11, 2020, 3:51 p.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Chapter 246-500 WAC, Handling of human remains, the state board of health (SBOH) is considering rules regarding final disposition of human remains through alkaline hydrolysis and natural organic reduction. The board may also consider other updates as needed.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 43.20.050
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Chapter 246-500 WAC, Handling of human remains, was last updated in 2006. During the 2019 legislative session, the legislature passed ESSB 5001, concerning human remains (chapter 432, Laws of 2019), legalizing two new methods for human disposition: Alkaline hydrolysis and natural organic reduction. The new law takes effect May 1, 2020. SBOH is undertaking rule making to further review questions related to the new methods of disposition and to consider possible revisions to chapter 246-500 WAC to protect public health and safety. The board will coordinate and consult with state agencies and other interested stakeholders on this rule-making project.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The Washington state department of licensing's funeral and cemetery board, department of health, and department of ecology will be invited to participate in the rule making to assure coordination.
Process for Developing New Rule: The board will use a collaborative rule-making approach. The board will work with partner health and natural resource agencies in drafting the rule and will convene a stakeholder group for additional input. The board will keep stakeholders and interested parties informed of the rule making through email, the board's listserv and rule-making website, and notices in the Washington State Register. Stakeholders and interested parties will have opportunity to provide comments throughout the rule-making process, including informal review of the draft rule, formal review and comment on the proposed rule, and at the board's public hearing.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Caitlin Lang-Perez, P.O. Box 47990, Olympia, WA 98504-7990, phone 360-628-7342, fax 360-236-4088, TTY 711, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website sboh.wa.gov.
March 9, 2020
Michelle A. Davis