Scattering Ashes

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Can ashes be scattered on private property?

Generally speaking, yes – provided you obtain permission from the property owner. In some cases, a permit may be required as well.

What is aerial scattering?

Aerial scattering involves the use of planes, hot air balloons, or other airborne devices to disperse the cremated ashes while in active flight. A number of private and commercial companies across the country provide this service. Aerial scattering is a creative option that allows the family to scatter their loved one’s ashes over scenic and remote areas that might not be otherwise accessible except through flight.

Aerial scattering involves the use of planes, hot air balloons, or other airborne devices to disperse the cremated ashes while in active flight. A number of private and commercial companies across the country provide this service. Aerial scattering is a creative option that allows the family to scatter their loved one’s ashes over scenic and remote areas that might not be otherwise accessible except through flight.

Ashes must be scattered at least three nautical miles out to sea. Any scattering performed in the ocean requires that a report be sent to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within 30 days of the date of the scattering. The report form can be found at http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/oceans/documents/burialatsea.pdf.

Is it legal to scatter ashes anywhere you want?

No. Depending on the location, there may be a number of local and governmental restrictions that prohibit the scattering of ashes in populated areas, certain public areas, some national parks, and other areas. In some cases, a permit may be required. If you are considering scattering the ashes of a loved one on public lands, it is best to contact the agency that has jurisdiction over that area. This information can usually be found by conducting an online search. Also, if you are considering scattering the ashes on private property, be sure to obtain permission from the landowner first.

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