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Legally Scattering Ashes Of The Deceased

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Per his stepbrother's final wishes, Toronto resident Robbie Ouellette was at the Blue Jays stadium last month, trying to scatter his ashes on the field when the breeze picked up, scattering the remains on a camera man and sound crew. It got worse when the police, unsure what the ashes were, thought it might be anthrax.

So when we hear the recent news that beloved comedian Robin William's ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay, we may wonder: is that legal?

Under EPA regulations, it is legal to scatter a deceased person's ashes at sea so long as what's scattered is decomposable, like the ashes but not the urn, that it's done 3 nautical miles from land, and is reported to the EPA within 30 days. It is also generally legal to scatter ashes on land, although if it's on private land it has to be done with permission of the landowner and if on public lands then based on the rules of the national park.

As for Mr. Ouellette, he came clean (or at least cleaner than the camera man) and was not arrested but not unscathed either - to what would have no doubt been a true horror to his stepbrother, the Jays blew a two run lead in the ninth and lost that game.

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