The commission shall appoint a director of the pipeline safety section of the Public Service Commission and such employees as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and shall fix their respective salaries or compensation. The commission may designate such employees as it deems necessary to take evidence at any hearing held or required by the provisions of this chapter, which employees are hereby empowered to administer oaths in all parts of this state so far as the exercise of such power is properly incidental to the performance of their duties in connection with the provisions of this chapter.
Each member of the commission shall receive a salary in the amount set forth in section three, article one, chapter twenty-four of this code as compensation for the administration of this chapter in addition to all other salary or compensation otherwise provided for by law, to be paid at least twice per month from the Public Service Commission Pipeline Safety Fund.
(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.