(1) Any person receiving any shipment of nursery stock from any foreign country that has not been inspected and released by the United States Department of Agriculture at the port of entry shall notify the department of the arrival of such shipment, its contents, and the name of the consignor. Such person shall hold the shipment unopened until inspected or released by the department.
(2) No person shall import or cause to be brought into Nebraska any soils or plant pests or distribute within the state any nonindigenous plant pests to be used in the open environment for research purposes or other educational uses without permission from the department.
(3) No person shall import or cause to be brought into Nebraska or distribute within the state any nonindigenous biological control agent or genetically engineered plant organism to be used in the open environment without a permit as set forth in rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations may provide for reasonable exemptions from permit requirements. A permit shall not be required under this section if a permit has been issued under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, 7 U.S.C. 136 et seq., or any regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to such act.
An application for a permit shall include information regarding where the biological control agent or genetically engineered plant organism will be released and any other information required by the department. An application for a permit to import or distribute an arthropod to be used as a biological control agent shall be accompanied by a voucher specimen. Permits may be issued only after the department determines that the proposed shipment or use will not create sufficient hazard to warrant the refusal of a permit. Sufficient hazard shall include, but not be limited to, a substantial hazard to the environment or to plant or animal life not intended to be affected by the agent or organism. The department may rely upon the findings of interested federal agencies or any experts that the department may deem appropriate in making a determination about the threat posed by such agents or organisms. The department may also request confidential business information.
(4) An applicant submitting information required by this section may mark clearly portions of data which in his or her opinion are trade secrets and submit the marked material separately from other material required to be submitted under this section. The department shall keep such material confidential and in a manner that makes it not accessible to anyone who does not need to have access to it in order to adequately protect the public health, safety, or welfare.