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Bill Number: 177 Ratification Number: 255 Act Number 181 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Funeral vaults must be at least ten inches below the earth's surface
(A181, R255, S177)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 39-55-100 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT FUNERAL VAULTS MUST BE AT LEAST TEN INCHES BELOW THE EARTH'S SURFACE WHERE EXCAVATION FOR THE VAULT MAY BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT DRILLING OR USE OF EQUIPMENT OTHER THAN A SHOVEL, TO DEFINE "FUNERAL VAULT", TO PROVIDE THAT THIS REQUIREMENT DOES NOT APPLY IN COASTAL LOWLAND CEMETERIES SUBJECT TO TIDAL OR SURFACE WATER FLOODING, TO ALLOW FUNERAL VAULTS TO BE AT GROUND LEVEL IN COASTAL LOWLAND CEMETERIES WITH A WATER TABLE AT LEAST TWO FEET BELOW GROUND LEVEL WHICH ARE NOT SUBJECT TO TIDAL OR SURFACE WATER FLOODING, TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS, AND TO REPEAL CHAPTER 73 OF TITLE 44 OF THE 1976 CODE RELATING TO FUNERAL VAULTS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 55 of Title 39 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 39-55-100. (A) Where the excavation can be accomplished without drilling or the use of equipment other than a shovel, funeral vaults must be at least ten inches below the earth's surface. As used in this section, 'funeral vaults' means caskets, grave liners, or other outer burial containers. It does not include markers, monuments, or crypts constructed in a mausoleum or columbarium.
(B) This section does not apply to cemeteries located in the coastal/lowland areas which are subject to tidal or surface flooding or have a high-level water table, except that vaults may be placed level with the ground in coastal/lowland cemeteries where the water table is at least two feet below ground level and which cemeteries are not subject to tidal or surface water flooding.
(C) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days."
Obsolete provision repealed
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by repealing Chapter 73 of Title 44.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.