NFDA will continue its active involvement with all relevant federal or state departments, agencies, and private organizations to ensure that the role of funeral service in any natural or man-made mass-fatality disaster is clearly defined and adequately reflected in their policies.
NFDA has been in the forefront of advocating that the federal government and all federal agencies recognize the need and importance of funeral service and a national policy for the orderly recovery, identification, processing, and the conduct of funeral services and final dispositions for those who died from and during a natural or man-made mass-fatality event.
NFDA will initiate and support legislation, rules and regulations that improve funeral and burial benefits for Veterans and their families, and will continue to work with Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, individual service branches, veterans service organizations and other interested parties to improve funeral and burial benefits available to veterans and their families.
Currently, there are numerous funeral and burial benefits available to veterans and their families including burial in national cemeteries, headstones and markers, memorial plots, presidential certificates, burial flags, reimbursement of burial expenses, life insurance, and other related benefits.
NFDA will initiate, support and/or advocate for legislation, rules and regulations that recognize the unique needs of small and family-owned businesses.
Funeral directors are the typical small business; they are community-rooted and provide a valuable and necessary service to their neighbors. As a result, it is vital that NFDA remain active and involved in supporting and advocating for all bills, rules and regulations that benefit small businesses and oppose those that do not.
NFDA will enhance its efforts to address environmental health and safety issues related to funeral directors and the operation of funeral homes and crematories, and (to educate the public on) the safety of the embalming process, embalming chemicals, preparation room, alkaline hydrolysis, crematory equipment, waste generated by funeral homes and crematories, and crematory emissions.
To that end, NFDA will:
- Undertake proactive communications and education initiatives
- Assist funeral directors with complying with environmental health and safety laws, regulations and best practices, and establishing green funeral homes end-of-life practices
- Promote laws and practices consistent with these objectives
Funeral homes are subject to environmental requirements regulating (1) the discharge of funeral home wastewater to municipal treatment works and septic systems, (2) crematory emissions, particularly mercury, and the siting and permitting of crematories; (3) the appropriate handling, disposal and recycling of waste, including medical waste, and (4) the potential toxicity and adverse impact of such discharges and releases on the environment and public health. Funeral homes also are subject to OSHA requirements, including hazard communication. The relationship between formaldehyde exposure and cancer in funeral directors and embalmers is an important focus as formaldehyde is widely used in embalming products and subject to both environmental and OSHA restrictions.
As always, NFDA will actively monitor these issues, educate members and engage regulators and legislators if or when they arise.