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Trump talks about Mount Rushmore fireworks at trade ceremony

January 16, 2020 GMT

KEYSTONE, S.D. (AP) — President Donald Trump says he might attend a fireworks show that’s returning to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills on July 4th.

Trump mentioned the fireworks display during a signing ceremony for the U.S.-China trade deal in Washington Wednesday.

Fireworks shows have not been held at Mount Rushmore since 2009 when a pine beetle infestation killed thousands of trees in the Black Hills, which created a fire hazard, according to the Rapid City Journal.

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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.

Trump brushed aside what he said were dubious environmental concerns that had previously prevented fireworks at Mount Rushmore.

“What can burn? It’s stone. Nobody knew why,” Trump said.

Republican Gov. Krisi Noem and federal officials announced last May that the fireworks show would resume.