Pacific and Atlantic Corp. of Athens Greece, operator of the Motor Vessel John G. Lemos, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Jan. 19 in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland, Ore., on charges that it falsified the Lemos' Oil Record Book. Pacific and Atlantic was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine, $250,000 of which will be paid to the Columbia River Estuary Coastal Fund. In addition, Pacific and Atlantic must also establish an environmental compliance program for all 10 vessels in its fleet. On Jan. 4, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office conducted a routine Port State Control Inspection
of the Lemos at the Port of Portland. The Lemos is a 473-foot, Cypress-flagged bulk cargo carrier. The inspection of the vessel revealed false entries in the ship's Oil Record Book. After initiating a joint criminal investigation, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and EPA Criminal Investigation Division special agents executed a federal search and seizure warrant on the Lemos and presented evidence to the grand
jury three days later. Falsifying an Oil Record Book can prevent regulators from determining that a ship is following required pollution control practices. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Portland.