The news came out nationally in the form of a presidential tweet. President Trump praised Governor Kristi Noem for bringing "the big fireworks" back to Mount Rushmore for an Independence Day celebration in 2020.
May 8, 2019 The elaborate fireworks displays took place for 12 years, but the practice was stopped in 2009 due to the threat of forest fire in the Black Hills because of the pine beetle infestation.
Between 1998 and 2009 to celebrate the Fourth of July, tons of fireworks were set off over the top of the memorial. While it seemed a fitting display at one of the most patriotic monuments in the U.S., a federal investigation found it was filling the water around Mt. Rushmore with a toxic chemical.
"Past firework displays are the most probable source of perchlorate contamination at Mount Rushmore," Galen Hoogestraat said in a USGS video in 2016. That was a Rapid City hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. In 2011 the USGS began testing the water at Mt Rushmore and found high concentrations of perchlorate in groundwater and streams around the monument.
“Perchlorate is a common component in rocket fuels, fireworks, explosives, and also a byproduct in certain nitrogen fertilizers,” Hoogestraat said in a USGS video in 2016.
At high levels, the Centers for Disease Control says perchlorate can interfere with the thyroid gland.
An EPA health advisory sets a “maximum” concentration of perchlorate at […]