Soil quality standards (SQS) for bio-reclamation of coal overburden dumps : ISO-14000 requirements

In India 18,289 hectares of land is under various type of land degradation due to coal mining in which 1100 ha is by overburden dump. With the increase demand of coal and its opencast mining degrade 1400 ha of fertile land every year. This deterioration in the fertility is due to loss of soil through water erosion, contamination through leaching of heavy metals and siltation with runoff. The essential nutrients with micro-flora and fauna from the soil disappear from the mining affected areas. In environmental management plan and the ISO certification for environment ISO:1400 must include all soil as important input and output character in the reclamation process and their must be defined standards in the successful mine closure. In this paper a brief discussion is made to define soil quality standard for the reclamation of affected mining land to meet the ISO:14000 norms in the mine closure.