While signing a trade deal Wednesday at the White House, President Trump said a fireworks show will return this July 4th to Mount Rushmore and that he may attend the display.
“I called up our people and in 15 minutes got it approved and we will have the first fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, and I will try and get out there if I can,” Trump said at a signing ceremony for an initial U.S.-China trade deal.
The president also brushed aside what he said were dubious environmental concerns that had previously prevented fireworks at the landmark.
“What can burn? It’s stone. Nobody knew why,” Trump said.
Gov. Kristi Noem announced in May 2019 that South Dakota and the U.S. Department of the Interior would be working together to return fireworks to the monument on July 4, 2020, and her press secretary said on Wednesday that Noem would attend the July 4 event to which Trump is invited.
Fireworks shows have not been held since 2009, when a pine beetle infestation killed thousands of trees in the Black Hills National Forest, creating potential fire hazards.
A recent U.S. Geological Survey report also cited past fireworks displays at the monument as the probable cause for elevated concentrations of contaminants in groundwater near the monument.