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(1) As set forth in 37-19-704 through 37-19-706, MCA, a crematory shall comply with the procedures further described in this rule.

(2) Prior to the beginning of the cremation process, the crematory must have in its possession written authorizations to cremate bearing the original, photocopied, electronic, or facsimile signatures from:

(a) the authorizing agent; or

(b) the coroner having jurisdiction or the state medical examiner, if the death occurred in Montana.

(3) Whenever a crematory is unable to cremate human remains immediately upon taking custody, but in no case less than 24 hours after the time of death, the crematory shall hold human remains in a holding area marked "private" or "authorized personnel only," that is secure from access by unauthorized persons.

(4) A crematory may not hold unembalmed human remains longer than 48 hours after the time of death outside of a refrigerated facility. Individual circumstances, however, may dictate that refrigeration at approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit or less begins sooner than 48 hours after the time of death.

(5) Except for persons having the right of disposition who request to witness the cremation, board inspectors, or persons authorized by the crematory operator-in-charge to be present, unauthorized persons may not be permitted in the cremation chamber area while any human remains are being placed within the cremation chamber, being cremated, or being removed from the cremation chamber. This section may not be construed to allow a crematory that is not attached to a mortuary to:

(a) conduct a viewing of the body on the crematory premises; or

(b) hold or charge to hold a funeral or memorial service.

(6) As described by 37-19-705, MCA, in processing cremated human remains, crematory staff shall:

(a) commingle cremated human remains only if the authorizing agent provides written authorization for a simultaneous cremation of more than one person;

(b) remove the recoverable residual of the cremation process from the chamber and sweep it clean;

(c) separate, collect, and secure for permanent waste disposal in a container designed to avoid loss or exposure of the contents, any nonhuman residue, such as dental fillings or nonhazardous medical implants, unless such items, if reasonably identifiable, are directed to be returned to the authorizing agent;

(d) process remaining bone fragments to unidentifiable particles;

(e) place the bone particles, together with the remaining residue and metal identification tag in a securely fastened plastic bag;

(f) place the bag in a sturdy, properly closed temporary container, or in an urn provided by the authorizing agent, with the name of the deceased person and other proper identification affixed to the outside of the containers; and

(g) clean all containers or trays used in the cremation process to avoid commingling of cremated remains.

(7) If the cremated remains do not adequately fill the container's interior dimensions, staff may fill the extra space with packing material that will not become intermingled with the cremated remains.

(8) If cremated remains do not fit within one container, staff shall use an additional container, similarly sealed and affixed with identification, and marked "1 of 2" and "2 of 2."

(9) When requested to ship cremated remains, the crematory shall place the temporary container or container holding the urn in a single, sturdy, pressure-resistant, and properly sealed shipping box. Multiple containers of cremated remains of a single person shall be placed in one shipping box as described. The crematory shall label the container "CREMATED REMAINS" and ship using an internal tracing system that requires a signature by the person taking delivery of the cremated remains and a return receipt to the crematory.

(10) If the authorizing agent does not claim the cremated remains within 90 days from the date of cremation, the crematory may dispose of the cremated remains in any manner permitted by law. "Any manner permitted by law" does not include scattering, but rather means disposal in a recoverable manner, such as burial in a grave, crypt, or niche. The crematory must maintain a record of the disposition made and may issue an invoice to the authorizing agent to recover the costs of the disposition.

History: 37-19-202, 37-19-703, MCA; IMP, 37-19-703, 37-19-704, 37-19-705, 37-19-706, 46-4-122, 50-15-405, MCA; NEW, 1993 MAR p. 2670, Eff. 11/11/93; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 2959, Eff. 11/6/98; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 1630, Eff. 6/30/00; TRANS, from Commerce, 2002 MAR p. 790; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2017, Eff. 9/5/14.

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