Nova Scotians are being asked for their input as the province updates its standards for sand and gravel pit operations. Kerry Morash, Minister of Environment and Labour, released a discussion paper today, Oct. 7, to help gather input on the appropriate standards for pit operations. In June, it was announced that operators of pits under two hectares in size no longer had to apply for an approval for their operations. At that time, the Department of Environment and Labour also promised to talk to operators, interested groups and the public about the appropriate standards for all pits and quarries, regardless of size. There are various issues surrounding pits and quarries. A number of issues are common to both excavation types, others are unique to pits or to quarries. The discussion paper focuses on pits. Future efforts will address quarries separately. To obtain a copy of the discussion paper on pit operations contact 1-800-567-7544 or visit www.gov.ns.ca/enla . If you have questions about the discussion paper, contact Julie Towers at 902-424-4155 or Darlene Fenton at 902-424-2382. The deadline for written submissions is Dec. 16.