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B&L Cremation Systems, Inc. | EPA And Regulations FAQ


1. What emission guidelines does a retort fall under?  Do all models meet the emission standards?

The emission guidelines for human cremation equipment are first set at the Federal Level by the EPA.  However, the actual compliance and permitting is done by the state, county, or city, depending which has the more stringent rules.  Our equipment has been tested to show compliance by independent testing agencies.  Each of our systems has far exceeded these requirements.


2. When emission standards are tightened, how hard would it be to make the necessary changes?  What type of support and assistance could be expected from your company to aid in meeting the new standards?

If the emission standards are made more stringent, it is possible that our equipment may already meet them.  When Florida changed its regulations in 1992 to more stringent regulations, our equipment did not need to be retrofitted like the other manufacturers as it already met the new rules.  However, if retrofitting were required, we would offer full assistance to our customers affected by the change.


3. What is the stack constructed of?  What is the chance of the stack catching on fire?

Our stacks are constructed from steel plate and are fully lined with three inchs of insulating, castable material, capable of withstanding temperatures in excess of 2,500 degrees.  Stacks on cremation equipment do not catch on fire like fireplace chimneys, as no creosote is present in the cremation process after the secondary burning process.  However, some manufacturers attempt to use unlined stacks with air-cooling.  Under certain conditions, the temperature inside the stack can rise to a point where combustion of certain construction materials can begin, causing a building fire.


4. What is the exterior temperature of the stack?  Are there any fire codes to be concerned with the stack?

The average temperature of the stack gases in our equipment, as tested by independent labs, has shown to be around 550 degrees.  This gives the outside stack case a temperature of less than 150 degrees.  In a worst-case scenario with the stack gasses at 2,000 degrees, the outside temperature of the stack would be 400 degrees.  This temperature is below the kindling temperature of wood, and therefore, would not combust.  To ensure that even this is not possible, a roof thimble constructed of 16-gauge galvanized steel is required to be placed around the stack, in the area that the stack comes within 18 inches of a combustible.  This installation then meets the BOCA Mechanical Code for medium-heat appliances.


5. Are there city or state regulations regarding the smoke stack?

Exhaust stacks must meet certain codes.  In most instances, as long as the stack is manufactured with good engineering practice, it will meet the codes.  However, the installation of the stack and the height of its termination are what the city or state is most concerned with.  A rule of thumb is that the stack should be four feet higher than any other building or roofline within 20 feet.


6. Can we expect a refresher course on the retort as information and education change?

Yes; we offer in-house classes at your facility that can be held at the same time that we recalibrate and tune-up the equipment. We also offer group training sessions for associations.


7. Who will obtain the air permits for the retort?

We fill in the applications and supply existing documentation needed to secure an air permit for your location.