(a) Every pipeline company shall pay a special license fee in addition to those now required by law. The amount of such fees shall be fixed by the Public Service Commission and levied by it annually on each pipeline company at a rate of $18.60 per mile of three-inch equivalent pipeline included in a company’s pipeline facilities. The calculation of a company’s number of miles of three-inch equivalent pipeline for the purposes of assessing fees shall be determined on the basis of the pipeline company’s reports submitted to the commission in such form as the commission may prescribe. All fees assessed pursuant to this section shall be paid on or before July 1 in each year.
(b) Such sums collected under subsection (a) of this section shall be paid into the State Treasury and kept as a special fund, designated the Public Service Commission Pipeline Safety Fund, to be appropriated as provided by law for the purpose of paying the salaries, compensation, costs and expenses of its employees to the extent of the employees’ direct involvement in the enforcement of the provisions of this article. Any balance in said fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not revert to the Treasury, but shall remain in said fund and may be appropriated as provided in this subsection. All funds which heretofore were in the Public Service Commission Gas Pipeline Safety Fund shall be transferred to the Public Service Commission Pipeline Safety Fund.