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N.H. Senate Kills Liquid Cremation

Ryan Lessard

The Senate voted 16-8 Thursday killing a bill that would’ve enabled the liquid cremation process known as alkaline hydrolysis.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Senator Sam Cataldo of Farmington said his main concern was the proper disposal of the liquid waste the process produces.

“There was some concern that the human fluids would not get into the wastewater treatment facility but would be disposed of in-ground—our ground—affecting our ground water and aquifers.”

Democratic Senator David Watters of Dover spoke in defense of the bill and offered an amendment to give final permitting authority to local municipalities. He also said the discharge from liquid cremation is sterile.

The House passed the bill by a wide margin in March and included regulations mirroring traditional cremation. Maine remains the only state in New England that offers the service that proponents claim is more environmentally friendly.

Before becoming a reporter for NHPR, Ryan devoted many months interning with The Exchange team, helping to produce their daily talk show. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire in Manchester with a major in Politics and Society and a minor in Communication Arts. While in school, he also interned for a DC-based think tank. His interests include science fiction and international relations. Ryan is a life-long Manchester resident.

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