DEAR SUN SPOTS: We read Sun Spots all the time. It is very informative. We would like to know if there is a law in Maine or the United States stating that it is against the law preventing people was scattering cremation ashes (crushed bone fragments) at a favorite location for a deceased person such as a mountain top or on a person's property? Thanks for the information. — No Name via email
ANSWER: Last fall Sun Spots had that question and spoke to Scott Austin in the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Scott informed her that it is actually the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees cemeteries and crematoria. He also pointed her to a Maine.gov website with more information.
At http://tinyurl.com/6afnyw8 (frequently asked questions), it offers the following:
“Where can I scatter cremated remains in Maine?
“Title 13, Chapter 83, §1032 simply states that cremated human remains ‘...may be deposited in a niche of a columbarium or a crypt of a mausoleum, buried or disposed of in any manner not contrary to law.’ Specific locations are not specified, although the Division recommends obtaining permission prior to scattering remains on private property.”
(According to Wikipedia.com, “A columbarium is a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns (i.e. urns holding a deceased’s cremated remains). The term comes from the Latin columba (dove) and originally referred to compartmentalized housing for doves and pigeons.”)
Scott said cremains are not considered hazardous waste. The biggest issue appears to be obtaining permission if you want to spread the ashes on private property.
If you want to spread the ashes in a national park, you will require a permit. There is a link to that permit on the site for Acadia National Park (http://tinyurl.com/c5av2of).
Some readers might also be interested to know that you can be buried on your own property, if you meet certain requirements:
“Under 13 M.R.S. § 1142 when a person appropriates for a family burying ground a piece of land containing not more than 1/4 of an acre, causes a description of it to be recorded in the registry of deeds of the same county or by the clerk of the town where it is situated and substantially marks the bounds of the burying ground or encloses it with a fence, it is exempt from attachment and execution. As long as a family burying ground meets these criteria, they are allowed with no further licensing or registration requirements (absent local ordinances).”
Sun Spots is planning on doing that on her property. She has a spot picked out near her pet graveyard where she can watch over them for all eternity.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I just read the Dec. 19 inquiry about the very large lighthouse models. About a year and a half ago I attended an auction at PLD Auctions on Route 11 in Mechanic Falls. There were several of these huge lighthouses auctioned that night. One of them, which has a model of King Kong climbing it, currently stands in front of farmhouse at the foot of Merrill Hill Road where it meets Route 119 in Hebron. — No Name via email
DEAR SUN SPOTS: If the person who had to leave their pet cat named J-Edgar at the animal shelter a few years ago would call me, I might have a pleasant surprise for you. — No Name, 713-6847
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