NEW YORK - Moody's Investors Service said it downgrades the rating on Atlantic County Utility Authority, N.J.'s waste revenue bonds to Ba1 from Baa3. The outlook is negative.

The rating downgrade to Ba1 reflects the authority's fourth consecutive year in which net operating revenues were insufficient to cover debt service on a sum sufficient basis (net of state debt service aid subsidy), a healthy liquidity position, solid waste tonnages that have recovered from declines in prior years, however, tonnages which have fallen short of budgetary expectations for a second consecutive year, challenges to the practical implementation of the county flow control ordinance and a debt service reserve fund which has been partially drawn on since 2002.

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